Happy Birthday Brother Shaq! (Posted 2/26/2015)

When you think of Boston Celtics centers, names like Robert Parish and Bill Russell come to mind. Today, we want to with a happy birthday to another great center that wore the shamrock. Let’s take a look at Brother Shaquille O’Neal, The Big Leprechaun, as he turns 43!
The Big Shamrock was born in 1972 in Newark, New Jersey, to Lucille O’Neal and Joseph Toney. He honed his adolescent skills at his local Boys and Girls Club of America before going to San Antonio Texas to play for Robert G. Cole High School. There his team went 68-1 and won a state championship. He enrolled at Louisiana State University. After receiving several accolades at LSU, he decided to leave school early for the 1992 NBA Draft.
Shaq was drafted number 1 overall in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. During his four seasons with the Magic, he established himself as a star by being named the Rookie of the Year (1993) and an All-Star. Despite his honors, Orlando never made it past the first round of the playoffs. O’Neal became a free agent in 1996 and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. Teaming up with Kobe Bryant led Shaq Fu to several more All-Star honors and three NBA Championships. He was also named the Finals MVP (2000-2002) and NBA MVP (2000).
After a falling out with teammate Kobe Bryant and the Lakers front office, O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat. Shaq was excited to play with the up-and-coming Dwayne Wade, and won his fourth NBA Championship in 2006. After disappointing season 2007-08 seasons, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. After playing for the Suns (08-09) he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers (09-10) and finally signed with the Boston Celtics (10-11). He finished his career with 28,596 points (6th all time), 13,099 rebounds (14th all time), 2,732 blocks (8th all time) and 15 All-Star Nominations. O’Neal also won Gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Basketball.
During his time in Boston, Shaq joined our great fraternity on June 11, 2011 to the Widow’s Son Lodge, No. 28. He has since worn his Masonic ring and displayed it on national TV! Throughout his career, The Big Cactus has been involved with multiple charities like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Kids Wish Network, and Free the Children. Shaq’s leadership on and off the court has led to the improvement of many young people’s lives.
Take a moment to wish @SHAQ a happy birthday and take a look at his masonic ring on National TV.

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