Saturday was the weekend's big day of events. It began with a basketball clinic at the YWCA hosted by Brand Jordan. We arrived half-way through the camp and watched CP play some 1-on-1 with the campers while also entertaining the spectators hanging over the track railings hanging above the courts. Afterward we brought in the shoes into the back room to have Chris sign them - they grabbed A LOT of attention from everyone, and I sensed Chris particularly loved them...
Saturday night was THE night - the Gala. The silent auction had Carmelo Anthony-signed Jordan shoes, CP3-signed USA Olympic basketball, Emmit Smith and Tony Romo helmets, Kareem Abdul Jabbar autographed jersey, etc. The three-course meal was amazing, and the dessert was huge - I could only put away 3 bites.
The main event of the night within the main event of the weekend was the live auction, and the custom sneakers were proud to be included within the few items featured. Among those were a golf lesson from Tiger Woods' personal coach (Hank Hanney), a high-end luxury watch, limited-edition full tool set signed by Dale Earnhart, Jr. and of course, the T.Way CP3 custom sneakers. The auctioneer gave his best effort to describe the sneakers' inspiration and the customization process as they had pictures of the shoes on both projection screens and Chris Paul carried the sneakers and case to the podium.
The starting bid was $500 and as each numbered paddle was raised in the air, the price increaed in $250 increments (at one point I caught CP himself raise the paddle). As people at our table kept looking towards me with congratulations, the final bid was placed - $3,750. Not bad, just under $4,000 - success! After the auction, I met up with Chris and asked him about being outbid - his response, "Yeah man, my grandpa got it. Kept it in the family." Wow, what an honor. Not only did CP like the shoes, but his family liked them so much they paid all that cash-money to keep them in the family. What an honor for me. After hearing that, I made sure to get a picture with Chris and his grandpa with the shoes.
Overall, the weekend was incredible. For the first time it seemed like everything went right, and it was well worth the 24-hours of driving and 36-hour time span of zero sleep. The Paul family is incredible, and I have an extreme amount of respect for them and what they continue to do for their hometown - it's inspiring.Special thanks to Adrienne who made the trip with me and all your great networking abilities (haha) and Lindsey Adams who also came down with us and did what he does best - video (can't wait to see the footage and what he puts together!). Also, thanks to Jennifer Keene and Ben Clark, and especially Chris Paul and his family.