Shaquille O’Neal Brings Audience To Tears With Emotional Words on His Mother: “I Can Remember Times… Best Cruise Line Ever”

Published 12/16/2021, 9:30 AM EST
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA: (L-R) Shareef O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, and Shaqir O’Neal attends 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)


Behind every sports athlete’s journey is a supporting family, and this rings true even for Shaquille O’Neal. O’Neal famously donned the Los Angeles Lakers jersey in the NBA. His career remains wildly successful – with Lakers fans remaining grateful to O’Neal. He recently spoke about his mother, who remained influential in shaping his NBA career.

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An event hosted by Carnival Cruise Line witnessed O’Neal reveal his admiration of his mother. While thanking his family, O’Neal reserved special mention for his mother Lucille O’Neal as he credited his career’s long run to her. He revealed how his mother persuaded him to maintain his attendance at school contrary to his wishes.

O’Neal said, “So mom from the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you. I love you, I appreciate you, I wouldn’t be here without you. I can remember times where I didn’t want to go to school. And she said, ‘Go to school boy’. Now I’m the CFO of the best cruise line ever.”

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O’Neal is the CFO at Carnival Cruise Line. The CFO position at Carnival, however, in an interesting twist, means ‘Chief Fun Officer’. Carnivals’ Chief Fun Officer O’Neal spoke at Carnival’s official renaming ceremony of their cruise ship ‘Carnival Radiance’. O’Neal’s mother Lucille has been named the ships’ godmother by the cruise line.

Between 1996 to 2004, O’Neal wore the Lakers‘ iconic gold and purple jersey. He joined the Lakers from the Orlando Magic who had initially drafted O’Neal in 1992. O’Neal left an impressive legacy at the Lakers winning three NBA titles with the franchise.

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Shaquille O’Neal and his family

As an NBA star, Shaquille O’Neal reached levels of success that many NBA players can only still dream of. Throughout his career, O’Neal kept his family close to him. His parents Lucille O’Neal and stepfather Phillip Harrison remained by his side over the course of his NBA career.

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 26: Shaquille O’Neal attends the “Uncle Drew” New York Premiere on June 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

O’Neal only remained incensed at his biological father, Joseph Toney, for abandoning his family. However, they have since reconnected following their long period of separation with O’Neal, forgiving his father, who served a prison sentence. O’Neal currently remains a loving father to six children, from his various relationships.

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Watch this story: 5 times Shaquille ONeal almost killed his opponent on an NBA Court

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Shalom Saldanha

255 articles

Shalom Saldanha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his journalism degree, he has previously worked as a sports corresspondent for India Shorts/Business Upturn. A Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks fan, Shalom primarily got into the sport after discovering that he shared a mutual love for Arsenal with the 'Greek Freak'.

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