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Having Grown Up in German Army Base, Shaquille O’Neal Endorses 29YO MVP Amid FIBA World Cup Triumph

Published 09/11/2023, 7:10 AM EDT

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Germany won the 2023 FIBA World Cup in an exhilarating Final showdown against Serbia. After being the only team to go undefeated throughout the tournament, Germany took care of business once again. In the closely contested matchup, the German national team won the game 83-77 and was rightfully named the “World Champions”. After Noah Lyles’ comments about NBA champions calling themselves “world champions” caused controversy, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has now endorsed the MVP of the “real world champion“.

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Having stayed in a German Army Base for some years growing up, O’Neal might have been proud of Germany’s achievement.

Shaquille O’Neal showed his support to the world champions


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Track star Noah Lyles received a lot of flack for his “world champions” swipe at NBA teams. In addition to a lot of fans, superstars like Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and so forth called out the speedster for his comments. However, Lyles has apparently had the last laugh as Team USA, which is full of NBA stars, bowed out of the World Cup with an unremarkable fourth place.

As Germany was crowned the world champions, their star player Dennis Schroder was named the MVP of the tournament. Schroder made some incredibly clutch shots throughout the World Cup to help his nation make history. He once again willed his team in the Final, scoring 28 points. Schroder clinched the MVP award while averaging  19.1 points, 6.1 assists, and 2 rebounds per game.


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Fans around the world loved his performance and showered love on social media. Notably, a popular page claimed, “USA needs every superstar in existence to beat Dennis Schroder…”

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Furthermore, the image was shared with the caption, “The REAL world champion!!” Interestingly, Shaquille O’Neal endorsed it by sharing it on his Instagram story.


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Notably, the Los Angeles Lakers legend spent some of his childhood years in an army base in Germany.


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Shaquille O’Neal’s time in Germany

Shaquille O’Neal’s mother was remarried to Army Sergeant Philip A. Harrison after Shaq’s biological father left. Harrison took the 4x NBA champion as one of his own and became the father he always needed. O’Neal accepted Harrison as his father as well.

Because of the demands of the sergeant’s role, the family had to move to Germany and live in an army base for some period of time. O’Neal played high school basketball there as well. Interestingly, Shaq received his first college offer from LSU during his time in Germany.


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What are your thoughts on the Big Aristotle seemingly endorsing Germany as the “real world champions”? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Bagavathi Eswaran


One take at a time

Bagavathi Eswaran is a senior NBA writer at EssentiallySports, with a strong passion for the sport that started at the young age of ten. As a former college player, Bagavathi has been following the NBA for more than a decade and has found his calling in writing about the sport. His expertise in covering the NBA, as well as other arenas of the sport, is evident in his writing.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth