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Paul Forgives Men Who Killed His Grandfather

Many have heard the story of Chris Paul scoring 61 points in a high school game two days after his 61 year old Grandfather was murdered. What many don’t know is how Chris feels today about the five young men who took away the life of his cherished Grandfather. Nathaniel Jones taught his Grandson a lot of life lessons before he left this world. One of those lessons must have been forgiveness. Rick Reilly of has more.

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Paul, a high school senior, was so woebegone he was literally sick. Two days later, he scored 61 points for West Forsyth High School, one for every year of Papa Chili’s life. He purposely missed a free throw at the end, then collapsed into the arms of his father in tears.His grief was bottomless. Every national anthem in college, he’d hold his grandfather’s laminated obituary in his hand and pray.

And now he wants the murderers set free?

“Even though I miss my granddad,” Paul told me, “I understand that he’s not coming back. At the time, it made me feel good when I heard they went away for life. But now that I’m older, when I think of all the things I’ve seen in my life? No, I don’t want it. I don’t want it.”

Rick Reilly’s The Lessons of Nathaniel Jones

I strongly recommend reading Reilly’s entire column. The brutal details of Mr. Jones death certainly pull at your heartstrings. It would be hard for anyone to forgive the young men behind the murder, much less his immediate family. Put yourself in Chris’ shoes. Could you do the same?

I appreciate columns like this one by Reilly. It humanizes someone that many of us only see as an athlete within a sport. Paul has more to be proud of than basketball. Stories like this show us that.

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