Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal, or Shaquille O'Neal also known as Shaq, was born March 6th 1972 in Newark, New Jersey. O'Neal grew up in San Antonio Texas and grabbed the attention of recruiters when his high school team won the state championship. Shaq was quickly recruited by Louisiana State University where he became recognized as one of the best basketball players in the nation. By 1991, O'Neal was named the best College Player of the Year, and by '92 O'Neal left school and was drafted by the Orlando Magic. However by 2000, he returned to Louisiana State University and O'neal earned his degree. O'Neal helped lead the Orlando Magics to a 41-41 record, which was 20 wins better than their previous season. O'Neal is recognized most for his impressive size, Shaq stands at an incredible 7 feet and 1 inch and weighs a massive 315 pounds. Shaq is an incredibly talented and aggressive player who made major waves within the NBA world.
Shaquille O'Neal's basketball career was impressive and legendary before he even made it to the NBA. Starting out his athletic career in highschool, Shaq led his San Antonio team to the state championship and helped them win it too. O'Neal was then recruited by Louisiana State University where he left early to be drafted as a first pick in the NBA for the Orlando Magic. O'Neal completely transformed the Orlando Magic team and changed the status of their seasons completely.
O'Neal also won a gold medal in 1996 when he was a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team. Later in '96 O'Neal joined the Los Angeles Lakers where he formed a legendary partnership with Kobe Bryant with whom he dominated the court. O'Neal was traded by the LA Lakers to the Miami Heat in 2004 where he formed a new relationship with point guard Dwayne Wade.
Over the course of his 19 year career, Shaquille O'Neal has won countless awards which have merely commemorated the impressive impact he has had on the NBA. In 1991, Shaq won the AP College Basketball Player of the Year. Then, in 1993 he was given the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in the years 2000, 2001, and 2002. In 2005, Shaq was awarded the BET Award for Sportsman of the Year. In the years 2000, 2004, 2009 Shaq was awarded the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award. O'Neal also won the All-NBA Team award for many consecutive years in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
Shaq's basketball career also included scoring over 28,596 points which was the 7th highest total in NBA history when he retired. O'Neal was also honored with being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.
Shaquille O'Neal is known for his incredible basketball career but he retired in 2011 and his personal life is now his main focus. Shaq was born in Newark, New Jersey. His parents' names are Lucille O'Neal and Joe Toney. O'Neal has three siblings: Ayesha O'Neal, Jamal O'Neal, and Lateefah O'Neal. On December 26, 2002 Shaq married Shaunie O'Neal, but they divorced in 2010. Together, Shaunie and Shaq had four children: Shareef Rashaun, Shaqir Rashaun, Amirah Sanaa, and Me'arah Sanaa. Shaq's children are also very excited by basketball and hope to follow in their father's incredible legacy. Although Shaq grew up extremely poor and did not have as many opportunities as others, he worked hard in order to be successful for his own family. Shaq's children have also inherited his height gene and stand at staggering heights just like their father.
During the course of his 19 year basketball career in the NBA, Shaquille O'Neal has won 4 National Basketball Association championships: 3 with the Los Angeles and 1 with the Miami Heat. Although Shaq was drafted by the Orlando Magic team, he never won a championship with them. Shaq is considered one of the best basketball players in the history of the NBA and his 4 championship rings certainly confirm that notion.
During the course of Shaq's 19-year basketball career, he played in over 1200 games, scored an average of 23.7 points per game, 2.5 assists per game, and 10.9 total rebounds per game. The high number of rebounds per game is not surprising based on the fact that O'Neal stands at an impressive 7 ft 1 inches. Shaq has also scored more than 60 points in one game when he was a part of the LA Lakers, versus the Clippers.
During his debut game, Shaq was playing for the Orlando Magic and was teamed up against the Miami Heat on November 6th 1992. During his first game, Shaq scored an impressive 12 points, blocked 3 shots with his staggering 7 ft height, and grabbed over 18 rebounds. This debut game was extremely impressive because of how rare it is for a player to perform that well during their first game.
Shaquille O'Neal's nickname "Shaq" meant Little Warrior in Arabic and he got this nickname actually from another basketball player from North Carolina State. This player, Charles Shackleford, was nicknamed "Shack" and when Shaquille O'Neal heard it he took the nickname and adapted it to his own name, making it "Shaq." Shaq has also had many other nicknames over the years like "Superman," for his large presence on the basketball court and "Hack-a-Shaq."