Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal was born on March 6, 1972 in New Jersey. He is a retired NBA player, former rapper, former actor and currently, an analyst on Inside NBA. He was drafted by Orlando Magic in 1992 and was suddenly thrown into the spot light. He shined brightly, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992 – 1993 and led his team to the NBA Finals of 1995. O’Neal’s personal life has been hard. His biological father was not interested in a relationship with him and gave O’Neal’s step father parental visitation rights. Ever since then, O’Neal has made no effort to revive his relationship with his biological father and has dismissed the idea completely. O’Neal has five kids with Shaunie Nelson whom he married in 2002. However, after a couple of wavering episodes, they filed for divorce in 2009 after which O’Neal started dating a TV star.

As a kid, O’Neal played for his school team and set a record of 68 – 1 for the two years that he played. He also helped them win the state championship. He was honored as one of the 35 Greatest McDonald’s All-Americans. After graduating from school he went to Louisiana State University to study business. From there on out, he won award after award and ultimately ended up leaving LSU before finishing his degree. He was named college player of the year by AP and UPI as well as received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as basketball player of the year in 1991. Despite his fame, he held on to his promise made to his mother to earn a degree and went back to school to finish his undergraduate studies.

O’Neal, after being drafted by Orlando Magic spent majority of his time in LA. He scored an astounding average 23.4 point on 56.2% shooting during his rookie season and became Player of the Week in his first week at NBA, followed by titles such as 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year and All-Star starter (first rookie to be voted that after Michael Jordan). His second season topped his first and he improved his shooting and this ultimately led him to be drafted in the All-NBA 3rd Team. In his third season, he made his first NBA Finals appearance but his team lost to the Rockets. O’Neal missed about twenty eight games in the 1995 – 1996 season due to injuries. He then moved on to being a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers. During his stint, the Lakers won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001 and 2003. Then in 2004, he was sent to Miami Heat and they won another championship in 2006. He played for Phoenix Suns in the 2007 – 2008 season before being traded to Cleveland Cavaliers and then eventually to Boston Celtics before retiring. O’Neal’s international career took course with the advent of O’Neal being named MVP of the 1994 FIBA World Championship. He pocketed more than twenty points and before 2010, he received a gold medal for his performance. He is not only a basketball player, he has ventured into music, television, advertising, video games and even law enforcement. He served as a reserve officer in 2005 receiving an honorary title of US Marshall and worked with a task force that hunted down sexual predators. It is suffice to say that Shaquille O’Neal is indeed a jack of all trades.

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