Don’t Call Him “Dr. Shaq”: Shaquille O’Neal Earns A Doctorate Degree
After so many depressing stories about sports figures who’ve done drugs, got into legal trouble, become physically decimated due to their past athletic battles, it’s refreshing to find an uplifting story about a famous athlete who is truly a great role model. And here it is: Shaquille O’Neal has earned his doctorate degree.
But don’t call him Dr. Shaq:
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 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.
Dr. O’Neal. A lot of Americans don’t wear hats anymore. And many don’t have a graduate’s cap with them.
So let’s take a moment to salute you because adults can take kids and — more than ever — proudly point to you.