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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — NBA star Chris Paul led nearly 2,500 people on a march to an early-voting site at a historically Black college in North Carolina where he also takes classes.

Paul was part of the "March to the Polls Part 2" event held Tuesday at Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem Journal reported.

The basketball star told reporters during the event that it was necessary to encourage students to vote "given the magnitude of the election and everything that is going on right now." Paul had previously said that he would be encouraging HBCU students to head to the polls.

Some students, including Je'den Clark, the school's student government association president, said the point guard's attendance attracted large crowds. Campus police blocked traffic to allow for the march, which had hundreds of city residents and candidates running for office.

"College students think about making inroads," Clark said. "Voting is important. We are instructed since our freshman years to use our voices."

Paul, 35, played basketball at Wake Forest University before heading to the NBA. He now plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder.