Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal was born on March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey. He is one of the world's most famous professional basketball players popularized by the NBA. He first gained popularity when he became High School Player of the Year at Robert G. Cole Junior-Senior High School in San Antonio, Texas. After high school he enrolled at Louisiana State University (LSU) to study business. However, he still was into basketball and even played on the school team, becoming a two-time first team All-American, two-time SEC player of the year, and national player of the year in 1991, receiving the Adolph Rupp Trophy and John Wooden Award as NCAA men's basketball player of the year. He left LSU to pursue a professional basketball career but returned later to earn his BA in General Studies. In 1992 he was the first to be picked for the NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. He was then trained under Magic Johnson himself, and became an even more skilled basketball player under his tutelage. After the 1996 season, O'Neal left the Orlando Magic for the Los Angeles Lakers who lured him with a seven-year $120 million contract. It was a dream come true for him as he always wanted to play for the Lakers. In 2004, he transferred teams again, this time to the Miami Heat. Aside from basketball, he has other endeavors including a television show entitled Shaq's Big Challenge.
Shaq hosts Shaq's Big Challenge, a television show which aims to promote childhood obesity awareness. Together with nutritionists and dieticians, Shaq goes on an adventure to help six obese middle school youngsters from Florida to live a healthier lifestyle.
(Photo copyright © 2006 ABC / Angelo Cavalli)