Shaquille O’Neal Urges Athletes Like LeBron James and Tom Brady for Social Service: “Just Take Care of Your Area on Important Days. Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day”

Published 12/21/2021, 11:30 AM EST


The former big man in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal is also known for having a big heart. While he dominated his rivals on the basketball court, he remains a humble person off the court. O’Neal played for the Los Angeles Lakers but never let stardom affect him negatively. He showed his humble side once again, as he called for other sports personalities to showcase their generous sides.

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Shaquille O’Neal spoke to ’11Alive’ while elaborating on his message to celebrities. He held a ‘Shaq-A-Claus’ event in Atlanta to help school children during the Christmas period. O’Neal appealed to fellow celebrities to help out their local communities on important holidays and events.

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O’Neal said, “Each big time person just take care of your area. Take care of your area. On important days; Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day. Just take care of your area.” Shaq further added that he wanted 50 of his celebrity friends to hold similar events to ‘Shaq-A-Claus’ in over all 50 states in the United States.

This event was an attempt by Shaquille O’Neal to give back to the community. Despite his enormous success and fame, O’Neal emphasized his duty to his local community. According to him, seeing children happy and smiling makes him feel warm and touches him on a personal level.

O’Neal himself endured a tough childhood. His biological father, Joeseph Toney, abandoned his family after serving prison sentences. His mother, Lucille O’Neal, and step father Philip A. Harrison raised him. O’Neal went on to eventually win four NBA titles to his name.

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Shaq-A-Claus by Shaquille O’Neal

According to reports, more than 500 school kids in Atlanta attended the 2021 ‘Shaq-A-Claus’. The event provided students with backpacks, Walmart gift cards, toys, clothes, haircuts, and other facilities. BBQ, DJ music, and games were the other features of the event. Shaquille O’Neal holds the event every year.

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 26: Shaquille O’Neal (center) with his family attends the “Uncle Drew” New York Premiere on June 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

The three-times NBA MVP began holding the event after his mother’s request. O’Neal acquired the nearest ‘Toys “R” Us’ store to support children at the local Boys & Girls Club. He said, “This is all about making the kids happy. But, more importantly, it’s all about making my mother happy.” O’Neal’s mother has clearly influenced his career and social identity.

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Watch this story: Five Surprising things owned by Shaquille ONeal

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Shalom Saldanha

260 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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