Shaquille O'Neal Bio And Facts

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal (also known as simply Shaquille O’Neal, and, more commonly, “Shaq”), was born March 6, 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 1992, O’Neal left school and was drafted by the Orlando Magic. He later returned to Louisiana State University and 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, 1 inch, and weighs a massive 315 pounds. Shaq is an incredibly talented and aggressive player who made major waves within the NBA world.

  • Birthday: March 6, 1972
  • Education: Louisiana State University
  • Net Worth: $400 million
  • Occupation: Former NBA Athlete and current NBA Commentator
  • Height: 7’ 1” (2.16 m)
  • Weight: 325 lbs (147.42 kg)
  • Position: Center
  • Years Active: 19
  • Career Wins: 3 NBA Championships
  • Career Losses: 1 NBA Championship
  • Nicknames: Shaq, Hack-a-Shaq, Superman
  • Teams: Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics

Basketball Career

Shaquille O’Neal’s basketball career was impressive and legendary before he even made it to the NBA. Starting out his athletic career in high school, Shaq led his San Antonio team to the state championship and helped them win it. O’Neal was then recruited by Louisiana State University, which he left early after he was drafted with the first overall pick in the NBA Draft, by 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 1996, 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 Lakers to the Miami Heat in 2004 where he formed a new relationship with point guard Dwayne Wade. He played with Miami for four years, departing in 2008 to join the Phoenix Suns, where he played for one year. He then played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics, both for a single year.

Titles and Awards

Over the course of his 19-year career, Shaquille O’Neal won countless awards which have commemorated the impressive impact he has had on the NBA. In 1991, Shaq won the AP College Basketball Player of the Year Award. 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, and 2009 Shaq was awarded the NBA All-Star Game 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 seventh-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.

Personal Life

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 to parents 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.

Fun Facts

  • Shaq was 6 feet, 4 inches tall by the age of 10
  • O’Neal stands at 7 feet, 1 inch tall today
  • His first job before the NBA was at Burger King
  • Shaq suffers from Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease, which made it difficult to play basketball
  • His nickname, Shaq, was actually taken from Charles Shackleford, who was a basketball player for North Carolina State
  • His first paycheck in the NBA was for $1 million
  • Shaq spent his first $1 million in two days by paying off $150,000 worth of debt, $400,000 worth of cars, and $90,000 to the banks
  • Shaq tried to pursue a rap career after he retired from basketball in 2011 that did not really work out
  • Shaq’s contract with the LA Lakers made him $121 million dollars for a seven-year deal

FAQ

How many championships has Shaq won?

During the course of his 19-year basketball career in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal won four NBA Championships: three with the Los Angeles and one with the Miami Heat. Although Shaq was drafted by the Orlando Magic, he never won a championship with them. Shaq is considered one of the best basketball players in the history of the NBA, and his four championship rings certainly confirm that notion.

What are some of Shaq’s career statistics?

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 height of 7 feet, 1 inch. Shaq has also scored more than 60 points in one game when he was a part of the LA Lakers, versus the Clippers.

How did Shaq perform in his debut game?

During his debut game, Shaq was playing for the Orlando Magic, and was teamed up against the Miami Heat on November 6, 1992. During his first game, Shaq scored an impressive 12 points, blocked 3 shots with his staggering 7-foot 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.

How did Shaquille O’Neal get his nickname?

Shaquille O’Neal’s nickname, “Shaq,” means “Little Warrior” in Arabic. He got this nickname from another basketball player from North Carolina State, Charles Shackleford, who was nicknamed “Shack.” Shaquille O’Neal heard it and took the nickname, adapting 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.”