NBA star gave UC Riverside pep talk before upset victory
UC Riverside’s huge upset of Arizona State on Thursday had an assist from one of the NBA’s leading stars.
Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul spoke to the UC Riverside team for 45 minutes on Thursday prior to the Highlanders’ 66-65 upset win over Arizona State. It came about because J.P. Moorman II played on Paul’s grassroots CP3 All-Stars squad in North Carolina, and considers Paul a friend and mentor. With Moorman and the Highlanders in Phoenix to face the Sun Devils, Moorman reached out and asked Paul if he’d be willing to speak to the team before the game.
“It kind of worked out where I hit him up when we landed and asked him what he had going on after his game and he told me he was going to [STK Steakhouse] and asked if I wanted to come,” Moorman said, via Myron Medcalf of ESPN. “I told him to hit me in the morning and maybe you could come by and speak to the team. He said, ‘All right, just let me know where you’re staying.’ The rest is history.”
Paul spoke for 45 minutes about tricks and tools he’s used to find success in his career. The surprise energized the team ahead of what turned out to be an upset win.
Perhaps the best part? It was Moorman who made the dramatic 70-foot shot to seal the upset. Between that and bringing in Paul, he was definitely the MVP of the day.