Shaquille O’Neal has been one of the main faces of the NBA for a good part of the last 20 years. Since being drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992, the man they call Shaq has never been one to shy away from the public eye or keep a low profile off the basketball court. From his music career to his stint in acting, he has been as relevant in pop culture as any new trend or style. His ability to stabilize his status within the NBA and in everyday culture has been beneficial for not only the NBA and Shaq himself, but for the people’s lives he has touched.
Throughout winning 4 NBA Championships; 3 NBA Finals MVP awards; and making 15 All-Star appearances, he has always made time to give back to the community and lend a hand to those who need it. From Shaq-a-Claus to his recently released Shaqolate Milk, Shaquille O’Neal has never been afraid to use his name to the benefit of others. This past Christmas he handed out gifts to children of the Roxbury Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. Appearing in a Santa hat and interacting with the kids by participating in Ubisoft’s Michael Jackson: The Experience, he gave his young fans a chance to hang out with their hero and be kids.
Shaq has been known to help out with various organizations at various times throughout his career. He has worked frequently with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and not too long ago donated $1 million to the cause. He has appeared in multiple public service announcements and has donated his time to benefit the lives of young children across America.
In 2009, Shaq recorded a public service announcement for the Child Help Foundation where he expressed his desire to help others began when his father helped out a homeless man by giving him money and food. When Shaq asked his father why he did that, he respond by telling Shaq to help those who need it whenever you can. A lesson Shaquille O’Neal has never forgotten, and one he has carried with him his entire time in the NBA.
The Shaq era in the NBA may soon be coming to an end, but his time helping various charities and youth will not be any time soon. A larger than life hero on and off the basketball court, his legacy will carry on leaving not only sports fans but all civilians with a smile when they hear his name or see his face. He is an everyday hero that has never been afraid to stand out or give in to doing the right thing.
To learn more about the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, visit http://www.bgca.org/Pages/index.aspx
To learn more about the Child Help Foundation, visit http://www.childhelp.org/