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SHAQUILLE O’NEAL – FIBA Hall of Fame

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The story of Shaquille O’Neal is an intriguing story of a young lad, whose zeal conquered the world. His desire for greatness helped him burst on to the scene, of the National Basketball Association in the United States.

We’ll get motivated today by the story of Shaquille O’Neal. Shaquille ‘Shaq’ O’Neal was born in Newark, New Jersey on March 6, 1972, to Lucille O’Neal, and Joe Toney. his father who was also a basketball player. Despite early challenges brought about by losing his dad, when he was very young. Shaquille never lost his love for the game, and devoted time and commitment to it.

The major challenge O’Neal, had on his way to success was his estrangement, and the feeling of being raised by another man. This made him talk negatively about his father, in some of his music tracks, although, he claimed to have forgiven him, despite not being there for him.

Separating from your parent is never easy for anyone, especially at a very young age. Many have let this loss derail their path to progress and a great future.

It was in his university days, that he began to make waves in the basketball game, and it earned him the ‘College Player of the Year’ award. He took a bold step, to pursue a career in the NBA, by dropping out of school in the year 1992. Orlando Magic picked Shaq, in the 1992 NBA draft, and in the first week, his amazing skill made him ‘Player of the Week’, and he is the only player to achieve this feat. This was during his debut. During this season, his performances were so electric and amazing, that he achieved 23.4 points on average in his 56.2% shooting. He capped that season with ‘1993 NBA Rookie of the Year.’ This was the beginning of O’Neal’s mark in the NBA.

The u-reka moment finally arrived for him, when he was invited to the 1996 United States Olympic basketball team scheduled in Atlanta. O’Neal has said it was one of the biggest, and toughest challenges in his entire career. however, his presence proved to be vital as the team, took the gold medal in the competition. He didn’t stop there, he was named the most valuable NBA player, in the year 2000, and he eventually got signed to Los Angeles Lakers, in a three-year contract worth $88.5 million. During these three years, Los Angeles Lakers won three consecutive world championships.

He moved to the Miami Heat and achieved more success. He was instrumental in the team’s groundbreaking achievement in 2006, when they won the NBA championship, and marked his fourth championship win in his career. He further played in the Phoenix Suns in 2008, and also plied his trade with Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009-10 seasons. He achieved personal success, such as FIBA World Championship (1994), USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (1994), and NBA Most Valuable Player (2000). He has been listed in the FIBA Hall of Fame, as one of the most decorated players of all time.

He became the oldest NBA player during this season, to ever grace the game. After nineteen years in the NBA, he announced his official retirement from the game in 2011, after holding a press conference in Orlando.

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