Black History Month Feature Heritage Months

SHAQ: Larger Than Life

article by Isaiah Halker

Shaquille O’Neal was born in Newark, New Jersey, March 6, 1972. Shaquille O’Neal is considered one of the most dominant basketball players in NBA history.  He is seven feet and one inch, and maintained around 325 pounds throughout his career. His larger-than-life personality and powerful athleticism have resulted in worldwide honor and one of the most passionate fan bases in sports and entertainment.

Shaq played for six teams throughout his 19 year NBA career. He was also a nominee Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. After graduating from Louisiana State University, he was drafted by Orlando Magic with first overall pick. He won Rookie of the Year in for the 1992-93 season and then lead his team to the NBA finals in 1995. After playing with the Magic for four years, Shaq signed with the Los Angeles Lakers where he won three consecutive championships in 2000 through 2002. In 2004, he moved to the Miami Heat and won another championship in 2006. Between 2007 and 2011, Shaq took his talents to Phoenix, Cleveland and finally Boston, where he finished out his illustrious basketball career.His individual awards include the 1999–2000 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, and three NBA All-Defensive Team selections. He is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year. He ranks 7th all-time in points scored, 5th in field goals, 13th in rebounds, and 7th in blocks.

Largely due to his ability to dunk the basketball, O’Neal also ranks 3rd all-time in field goal percentage 58.2%.Shaq’s off-court awards rival his athletic accomplishments when he found success in music, television, acting, and gaming. As of April 2017, Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth was $400 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Shaq is still considered to be one of the greatest basketball players in the NBA. Shaq has consistently been a mentor and example for young American growing up with aspiration to excel in sports and life.

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