Shaquille O'neal Biography
Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal was born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey. Together, his first two names mean "Little Warrior" in Islam. While not little, Shaq is definitely a warrior on the basketball court.
At 6’6” by the age of 13, Shaq was born to play basketball. After high school he was recruited by Louisiana State University where he played for three years. During his college basketball career, Shaq was named Player of the Year by AP, UPI and Sports Illustrated in 1991, First Team All-American in 1991 and 1992 and Southeastern Conference (SEC) Athlete of the Year in 1992. After only three years in the NCAA he became the first player since Charles Barkley to lead the SEC in rebounding for three consecutive seasons and was the all-time leader in blocked shots.
After completing his junior year, Shaq entered the 1992 NBA draft and was chosen first overall by the Orlando Magic. As soon as Shaq stepped onto the court as a professional basketball player, he began making a name for himself. Following the first week of his career he became the first rookie in NBA history to be named Player of the Week. Shaq was awarded the NBA Rookie of the Year title later that year.
After being selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, the youngest player to earn the honor, Shaq left the Orlando Magic and signed on with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent in 1996. During his nine-year tenure with the Lakers, Shaq led his team to three NBA titles and his skills and determination earned him respect on and off the court.
To date he has earned All-NBA honors eight times four First Team selections, two Second Team selections and three Third Team selections. He is a two-time regular season scoring champion, five-time league leader in field-goal percentages, two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection, nine-time NBA Player of the Month, 12-time Player of the Week, three-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time Olympic gold-medal winner, and back-to-back-to-back NBA Finals champion. In addition, Shaq was voted Most Valuable Player (regular season) by the media in 1999-2000, Co-MVP of the 2000 NBA All-Star Game and MVP of the 2004 All-Star Game. His career scoring average (27.7 points) ranks third all-time among NBA leaders and he boasts the second-highest career scoring average in NBA Finals contests (33.7) and the fourth highest average in playoff games (28.2).
Now with the Phoenix Suns, Shaq continues to wow fans and marvel opponents as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Off the court, Shaq recently became the spokesperson for The Safe Surfin’ Foundation, an organization that provides parents, teachers and school administrators, law enforcement, community groups and librarians with the information and resources necessary to keep children safe and their exploration of the Internet fun. He has also helped raise money for the STARBRIGHT Foundation and Athletes and Entertainers for Kids. During just about every major holiday, he dresses up and distributes presents: Shaq-a-Claus for Christmas, Shaq-a-Bunny for Easter and Thanksgiving Shaq.