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Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquillle O’Neal plays for the National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics, is an entertainer, and an entrepreneur. His business interests include real estate, sneakers, and fitness clubs.

A native of Newark, New Jersey, Mr. O’Neal received his bachelor’s in general studies from LSU in 2000, his MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2005, and is currently pursuing his PhD in leadership and education from Barry University. His dissertation topic is “The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles.” Mr. O’Neal originally studied business at LSU and left early to pursue his NBA career. He was drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic in 1992. Shortly after entering the NBA, Mr. O’Neal explored other interests.

Early in his professional playing career Mr. O’Neal, who had an endorsement deal with Reebok, established a shoe line called Dunkman. The shoe was priced at $30 to be an affordable, quality sneaker and, in its first 10 years of existence, nearly 80 million pairs were sold. Mr. O’Neal began to build his real estate portfolio while playing in Orlando and, in 2006, while with the NBA’s Miami Heat, formed The O’Neal Group. He has also lent his name to a string of fitness centers—The Shaquille O’Neal Signature Clubs. There are nine of these centers located in Florida and one in Texas.

Since 1993, Mr. O’Neal has released five studio albums and one compilation album as a rapper. His 1993 debut album, Shaq Diesel, received platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Additionally, he has appeared in a number of movies, on several television shows, and has hosted both Shaq’s Big Challenge and Shaq Vs.

In addition to becoming a reserve officer with the L.A. Port Police, Mr. O’Neal also trained to become a Miami Beach reserve officer. He is the spokesperson for the Safe Surfin’ Foundation, which provides information and resources to keep children safe on the Internet, has helped raise money for the STARBRIGHT Foundation and Athletes and Entertainers for Kids, and dresses up and distributes presents during most major holidays as Shaq-a-Claus, Shaq-a-Bunny, and Thanksgiving Shaq.

Mr. O’Neal was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in National Basketball Association History in 1996, and, in 2001, was named the LSU Alumni Association’s Alumnus of the Year.

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