Mayor Allen Joines today announced a city-wide voting push to elect longtime Winston-Salem residents and current NBA stars Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets) and Josh Howard (Dallas Mavericks) to the 2008 NBA All-Star team.
Both former Wake Forest All-Americans are in contention for the Western Conference All-Star team and need the help of their hometown community to garner as many votes as possible.
"Chris and Josh have made it a priority to invest in the Winston-Salem community," Joines said, noting that Howard sponsors a free basketball camp every summer at Reynolds Park Recreation Center and Paul hosts the Chris Paul Weekend every September to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. "They have both given so much to Winston-Salem that spearheading an All-Star voting campaign for them in their hometown seemed fitting. I strongly urge all residents to show their appreciation and vote."
Winston-Salem residents are urged to cast their vote once daily for Paul and Howard. A link to the NBA voting site is available on the city Web site (www.cityofws.org). Users must register with the site before voting and must vote for all positions in both the Western and Eastern conferences. Paul and Howard both play in the Western Conference.
Mayor Joines was joined by civic leaders who are supporting the voting effort, including Heinz Little, the president of Debbie’s Staffing; Jeff Patton, a partner in Spilman Thomas & Battle; Sylvia Oberle, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County; and Todd Tucker, the president of Beyond the Box. Also endorsing the effort are Michael Miller, president and publisher of the Winston-Salem Journal; Mit Shah, the president of Twin City Quarter; and Ron Wellman, the athletic director for Wake Forest University.
Currently, both Paul and Howard rank seventh in Western Conference voting among guards and forwards, respectively. Paul leads the Hornets in scoring (21.6 ppg) and ranks first in the NBA in steals (2.97 spg) and third in assists (10.3 apg). Paul was also recently named the Western Conference Player of the Month in December for the first time in his career. Howard is the Mavericks second leading scorer (21.1 ppg) and rebounder (7.3 rpg).