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Shaquille O'neal - Research Paper Example

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Introduction The game of basketball has given some of the most iconic personalities to the world. Players like Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Lisa Leslie, Magic Johnson etc., are some of the greatest players that basketball in USA has produced…
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Shaquille Oneal
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Download file to see previous pages His performance and his achievements in the field of basketball are magnificent. However, calling him just a great basketball player will be like doing injustice to his personality. His achievements, both on and off the court, shows that he is a man of versatile talents and hence, one can say that he is an all-rounder whose achievements speak volumes about his character, strength and courage. Childhood Shaquille O’Neal was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 6, 1972 (Schaefer, 2003, p.11). Shaquille’s mother Lucille O’ Neal gave him an Arabic name ‘Shaquille’ which means ‘little warrior’ (Schaefer, 2003, p.11). Shaquille’s mother was a tall woman measuring 6 feet 2 inches in height (Smith & Wilson, 2005, p.10). Soon after finishing high school and when she was still single, Lucille O’Neal became pregnant with Shaquille (Smith & Wilson, 2005, p.10). Shaquille’s biological father never married his mother and hence, due to lack of financial support, they lived in poor neighborhood and didn’t have much in form of financial security (Smith & Wilson, 2005, p.10). Lucille married Phillip Harrison when Shaquille was two years old (Schaefer, 2003, p.11). Shaquille called Phillip his ‘real dad’ even though he was not his biological father (Schaefer, 2003, p.11) because Phillip gave Shaquille every sort of support that a real father would have given. Shaquille has three younger siblings named Lateefah, Ayesha and Jamaal (Schaefer, 2003, p.11). Shaquille’s family never got to stay at one place for a long time as they had to move often as Phillip, being in the US Army, was transferred every two years (Schaefer, 2003, p.13). Hence, Shaquille got to stay in different places like Germany, Georgia, and New Jersey (Schaefer, 2003, p.13). Right from the childhood, Shaquille had an unusual growth pattern in his physique. He was 3 feet 10 inches tall by the age of 4, and 6 feet tall by the age of 12 (Schaefer, 2003, p.13). Due to the unusual height and large body, he was teased by his classmates because they thought that he was lying about his age (Schaefer, 2003, p.13). However, the fact is that he was actually younger than his classmates as he had started school a year earlier (Schaefer, 2003, p.13). Fortunately, his large size did not remain his weakness for a long time as it proved to be boon in his life. Shaquille dreamt of becoming an actor or a singer in his childhood (Schaefer, 2003, p.13). However, he developed interest in basketball as he realized that his size and height were great advantage in that sport (Schaefer, 2003, p.13). Shaquille was 13 and measured 6 feet 8 inches in height when his family moved back to Germany in 1985 (Schaefer, 2003, p.13). It did not take time for him to be recognized as one of the best young basketball players in Germany (Schaefer, 2003, p.13). It was Coach Dale Brown who recognized the great potential in Shaquille O’Neal and knew that there was immense talent in him waiting to be unleashed (Bernstein, 2009, p.10). The Basketball Journey When major college Coach Dale Brown from Louisiana State University saw Shaquille’s basketball abilities when he had come to the army base to give a basketball clinic, he was highly impressed and took serious interest in him (Schaefer, 2003, p.14). Coach Brown worked on Shaquille’s physical fitness as Shaquille was only 14 and was clumsy (Bernstein, 2009, p.10). Coach Brown encouraged Shaquille to work hard by making him believe that he had a potential to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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