Entries in Shaquille O'Neal (4)


Shaquille O’Neal Earns Doctorate Degree

Aaron Davidson/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- The four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal donned a cap and bright red XXXL-sized gown to receive his doctorate degree from Barry University on Saturday in Miami, Florida.

On stage, he showed his enthusiasm in a way only someone over seven feet tall can do, by lifting his professor into the air.

After leaving Louisiana State University early for the NBA, Shaq went back to school and earned his bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree and now, a doctorate in education.

O’Neal told ABC News there are three reasons he hasn’t just kicked his feet up and lounged on an island since his retirement.

“One, I promised my parents I would [follow my passion for education]. Two, I wanted to continue my education and three, I wanted to challenge myself,” he said.

“The hardest part was getting back into high school mode. You ever have that high school teacher that says you’ve got to read six chapters over the weekend?” he said.

He wrote his thesis on the value of humor in leadership, because he says he’s a natural leader who loves to laugh.

The graduate wants to become a motivational speaker and plans to go to law school.

O’Neal told ABC News there’s “no way” anyone is allowed to call him Shaq anymore.

“Only the children can call me Shaq, the adults have to address me as Dr. O’Neal,” he said.

“I’m proud to call you Dr. O’Neal!” said his mother.

A year into retirement, after 19 seasons on the court, Dr. O’Neal is not looking back. He says he doesn’t miss the game “Because I got a new walk, a doctor’s walk.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Shaquille O’Neal Receives Doctorate Degree

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- While much of the world refers to retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal simply as “Shaq,” the towering 7-foot-1 former basketball center will soon have a new moniker: Dr. O’Neal.

Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., will award O’Neal a doctorate in education this weekend after more than four years of graduate school work, including one-on-one class sessions O’Neal arranged to have as he traveled around the country, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The former L.A. Lakers and Miami Heat champion successfully defended his dissertation at the Roman Catholic university earlier this month after completing 16 courses, 54 credit hours, and finishing with a 3.8 GPA.

The soon-to-be Dr. O’Neal, Ed.D, concentrated in Organizational Learning and Leadership, and wrote a dissertation, complete with an oral and video project, titled “How Leaders Utilize Humor or Seriousness in Leadership Roles.”

“He was a good student,” Dr. David M. Kopp, chairman of the university’s Organizational Learning and Leadership program, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “He is very intellectually curious. He is like a sponge, he takes everything in.”

O’Neal, 40, will walk in the weekend graduation ceremonies with 1,100 other students at the James L. Knight International Center in Miami, according to the report.

Barry University and a representative for O’Neal did not respond to calls for comment.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


VIDEO: Shaq Gets Piggyback from Petite Girlfriend

D Dipasupil/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- At 7’2”, Shaquille O’Neal towers over his 5 foot 2 inch girlfriend Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander. But that didn’t stop Alexander from piggybacking her man across the stage on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Alexander, dressed in high heels, managed to fit in almost 10 steps before collapsing under O’Neal’s 350-pound frame.

“Wow, she is strong,” said Kimmel after helping the couple to their feet. “Is that something that appeals to you in a woman -- someone who can potentially get you out of a fire situation?”

Alexander is two inches shorter than the national average for women, making the couple’s height difference all the more pronounced.

According to Polish anthropologist Boguslaw Pawlowski, the most desirable male-to-female height ratio is 1.09 -- a number achieved by David and Victoria Beckham.

But for guys like O’Neal, a height-matched mate is a tall order. To fit the 1.09 ratio, she would have to be 6 feet 5 inches.

Denver-based therapist Susan Heitler said height asymmetry can make it hard for couples to see eye to eye. But judging by their kiss after the tumble, O’Neal and Alexander appear to have the height issue figured out.

“The relationship feels symmetric to them, even though there’s an extra 24 inches,” said Heitler.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Shaq Sex Tape Mentioned in Kidnapping, Robbery Case

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A music promoter claims he was kidnapped and robbed by seven gang members who were allegedly on a mission to retrieve a sex tape involving former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal.

The alleged victim, Robert Ross, testified at a preliminary hearing this week that the gang members kidnapped him on the night of the Grammys in February 2008 and demanded that he return a reported sex tape featuring O'Neal.

O'Neal has not been named a defendant in the case. The spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said that the sex tape doesn't actually exist.

"It was a bluff," spokeswoman Jane Robison told ABC News. "It was part of a financial dispute" between Ross and O'Neal.

Ross told O'Neal through a third party that he had a sex tape of the basketball player, Robison said. Two weeks later, Ross was allegedly robbed and kidnapped by members of the Main Street Mafia Crips Gang.

Ross was once a member of the same gang, but was working as a music promoter at the time of the altercation, prosecutors said. He reportedly referred artists to O'Neal's record label.

Ladell Rowles allegedly led six other gang members in tracking Ross down in West Hollywood, Calif., on the night of the Grammys. Ross was allegedly forced at gunpoint to drive his Rolls Royce to Rowles' home. Rowles allegedly asked Ross for the sex tape and stole his diamond chain, Rolex watch, diamond earrings, and $15,000 in cash, according to the criminal complaint.

Robison would not comment on whether investigators had interviewed O'Neal. Attempts to reach O'Neal were unsuccessful.

Ross testified that the he and O'Neal were friends and that the ball player used his home to bring women home for liaisons while he was still married to wife Shaunie O'Neal. Prosecutors claimed Monday that at one time Ross dated Shaunie O'Neal.

It's unclear if O'Neal has any connection to gang leader Rowles.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio