Paul Declares For The Draft

On Thursday, Chris Paul announced that he will enter the NBA draft this year. A sophomore from Lewisville, North Carolina, Paul will leave the Demon Deacon program after helping Coach Prosser's team to 48 wins and a preseason NIT title while in Winston-Salem.

"I am realizing a dream by declaring for the NBA draft," Chris Paul said at his press conference Thursday. "At the same time, I am leaving behind a place and many people that are very close to my heart."

Though the money associated with playing in the NBA will be welcome to Paul and his family, the challenge of playing in the NBA every day was a key in his decision. "I have always welcomed challenges since placing a ball in my hand when I was little," he noted. "Playing in the NBA against some of the greatest athletes in the world is what I consider the ultimate challenge."

Paul, who spoke at length with family members and the Wake Forest coaching staff, decided that, in the end, stepping into the NBA was best for him for the upcoming season. Still, he will miss his teammates and Wake Forest family.

"My teammates here at Wake Forest are like my brothers and I share everything with them," Paul said. "While I plan to remain close to each and every one of them, I am going to miss the day-to-day contact that I have had with them for more than over two years. I am extremely grateful to the coaching staff. They recruited me harder than anyone else in the country, they helped me develop my skills and prepare me for the next level. Coach Prosser has taught me a great deal about life, in addition to basketball. To them, I say thank you."

Paul was sure to include the Wake Forest fans on his thank you list as well. In concluding his opening statement, Paul applauded the fans at Wake Forest including the Screamin' Demons for being the best in the country in his eyes. "Our fans are the best in college basketball, I will miss them as well, and I appreciate everything that they have done," Paul noted. "Although I am going to the NBA, my heart will remain here at Wake Forest forever, in Winston-Salem, and in Lewisville. I will play for a different team next year, but I will always be a Demon Deacon at heart."

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