NBA Star Chris Paul Says Wife Jada Is 'The Rock' of Their Family as He Prepares for New Season

PEOPLE caught up with Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul and his wife Jada at Baby2Baby's Back2School distribution event in East Los Angeles on Thursday

chris paul, jada paul
Chris and Jada Paul distribute toys and backpacks at Baby2Baby's Back2School event. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

As basketball star Chris Paul prepares for a new season with the Phoenix Suns, the 37-year-old athlete is grateful for his wife Jada, who he calls "the rock" of their family.

"For me, I've been traveling with games and stuff my kids' entire lives. You know what I mean? So, my wife has undoubtedly been the rock," Chris tells PEOPLE while hosting Baby2Baby's annual Back2School distribution event with Jada. "She's been most consistent thing that they've known in their lives so she's their go-to for any and everything," he adds.

On Thursday, the couple participated in distributing backpacks, toys, diapers, and food to children at Christopher Dena Elementary School in East Los Angeles.

chris paul, jada paul
Chris and Jada Paul host Baby2Baby distribution event. Michael Kovac/Getty Images

"50,000 backpacks we provided today," says Jada, who shares two children, Chris Jr., 13, and daughter Camryn, 9, with the NBA all-star.

Throughout his career in the league (17 seasons!), giving back has been a priority for Chris. "It was so special to be able to do with my wife and to partner with Baby2Baby who's always doing so much for all of these families," says Chris.

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Chris also notes, "With the inflation and the shortages of formula and things that's going on, Baby2Baby has been doing amazing work." In addition to distributing backpacks, Chris says the organization "made sure diapers and all different essentials" were available to students. "To actually see and touch the families is always special," he says.

chris paul, jada paul
Michael Kovac/Getty Images

One reaction in particular has stayed with the all-star point guard even after Thursday's event. "A father who seemed like he was a single dad who was there with his daughter and it was just them two, seeing a smile on her face and seeing how he's providing and doing what he has to do for his daughter was pretty special," says Chris, who has one non-negotiable when it comes to making time for family during a demanding NBA season.

"One thing Chris is really good about is making sure he's home for the kids' first day of school," Jada tells PEOPLE.

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She continues, "He literally plans his schedule around the kids' first day of school. So it's always great, even though they're in fifth and eighth grade now, it's still just as important to be there for the first day of school."

Also important to Chris, is showing his kids the classic movies he loved at their age. "I'm always trying to make sure the kids see the movies that we watched growing up as kids. It's hard to ever gauge if they are the right age so you just sort of go for it."

Recent movie nights at the Paul house have included Coming to America and Mean Girls.

Chris, who has been binge-watching Stranger Things during the offseason, says he watched Lindsay Lohan's 2004 comedy more than once. "I feel like we watched it 3 days in a row," he says with a laugh. "Listen, that movie is funny. It's funny!"

"He's a big kid himself," says Jada of her husband. "For example, during quarantine, he got up one morning and set up an obstacle corse for the kids to do. So you had to run around the house, we had a jump rope. It was cool because he comes up with these crazy ideas and it's the way to keep the kids engaged, to keep the family close."

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