- NAME: Shaquille O'Neal
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Basketball Player, Rapper
- BIRTH DATE: March 06, 1972 (Age: 41)
- EDUCATION: Cole High School, Louisiana State University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Newark, New Jersey
- Full Name: Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal
- AKA: Shaquille O'Neal
- AKA: Shaq
- Nickname: "The Big Agave"
- Nickname: "Shaqovic"
- Nickname: "Shaq Fu"
- Nickname: "The Big Daddy"
- Nickname: "The Big Cactus"
- Nickname: "The Diesel"
- Nickname: "The Big Aristotle and Hobo Master"
- ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces
Best Known For
Standing 7 feet tall and weighing 315 pounds, Shaquille O'Neal was one of the most dominant players in the NBA. After his 2011 retirement, he became an on-screen league analyst.
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Born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 6, 1972, Shaquille O'Neal went on to become one of the most dominant players in NBA history, helping his teams to win NBA Championships and Olympic gold. Following his 2011 retirement, Shaq became an NBA analyst, working alongside the likes of Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson.
"If I would've had a beer before the game, I would've been drunk. So I don't believe in 'if.'"
"I've succeeded at every level, except high school and college."
"I've won at every level, except college and pro."
Athlete, actor and musician Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas, he enrolled at Louisiana State University, and would go on to become one of the most dominant players in the NBA.
During his years at Louisiana State, Shaquille O'Neal—standing 7 feet tall and weighing 315 pounds—was named "College Player of the Year" (1991) and twice named a unanimous first team All-American (1991, 1992). He dropped out of college in 1992, after his junior year, to pursue a career in the NBA.
In his rookie season with the Orlando Magic, Shaquille O'Neal, also known as "Shaq," finished in the Top 10 in scoring, rebounding, blocks and shooting percentage. A notoriously bad free-throw shooter, Shaq focused on trying to get more of his points on the power slam, and hearty NBA centers quickly learned to try to foul Shaq rather than give him an easy shot. Shaq became the first player in NBA history to be named "Player of the Week" in his first week in the league.
In 1996, Shaq signed the biggest contract in NBA history, seven years for $120 million with the Los Angeles Lakers. That same year, he helped the United States' Dream Team win gold at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
By the end of the decade, Shaq was a three-time member of the All-NBA Third Team (1994, 1996 and 1997) and a two-time member of the All-NBA Second Team (1995 and 1999), and had earned a place on the All-NBA First Team (1998). (After debuting with the league's First Team in '98, he would be selected to the First Team seven more times—every year from 2000 to 2006.) In 2000, Shaq was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player.
Prior to the 2000-01 season, the Lakers signed Shaq to a three year, $88.5 million contract extension, and the larger-than-life center helped deliver three consecutive world championships to the team (2000, 2001 and 2002). In 2004, however, following growing dismay with team management and friction with teammate Kobe Bryant, Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat.
During the 2004-05 season, Shaq averaged a double-double (22.9 points per game and 10.4 rebounds), and in 2006, he helped the Heat capture the NBA championship—the fourth championship win of his career. Shaq also led the league in field goal percentage in both 2005 and 2006, and during the 2006-07 season, he reached a career milestone: scoring his 25,000th point. Following the 2007-08 season—his fourth season with the Heat—Shaq was traded to the Phoenix Suns. He would only play for one season with the Suns, but that didn't stop him from earning acclaim: Highlights from 2008-09 include leading the league with a .609 FG percentage, and being named the NBA All-Star Game's co-MVP in 2009.
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Shaquille O'Neal, Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James are just a few of the most well-known basketball players to have competed in the Olympic Games. The men's and women's national teams, often comprised of some of the top American professional and college players, have proven to be two of the most successful teams from the U.S. Since their first Olympic appearance in 1936, the men's team has taken home a total of 13 gold medals, with the women not far behind, claiming six since their start in 1976. From legendary figures like Michael Jordan to female powerhouses like Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes, Biography looks at the most famous names who have dominated the Olympic courts.
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