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Why Shaquille went back to school despite making millions

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shaquille o'neal college degree
Shaquille O'Neal doctorate degree from Barry University. Photo/TheSportsRush
  • His success came too early when he was only 20 years old
  • His NBA draft in 1992 saw him complete his degree in eight years
  • He is now an astute businessman

You may have known him for his successful NBA exploits over the years but Shaquille O’Neal college degree remains a burning question.

For him, his success came too early and he breathed and dreamt NBA which made his education trajectory take a back seat. Only to realize over a decade later that he needed it like never before.

He started his professional career in 1992 when he was only 20 years old. Somehow, he felt the need to go back to the lecture halls but he also had a career to build.

What College Degree Did Shaq O Neal Get?

Between 1992 and 2000, he worked extremely hard in the NBA and in his academic life. He finally graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in general studies in 2000 from Louisiana State University (LSU).

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal is a successful businessman. Photo/ AL.com.

A towering O’Neal said that graduating with his first degree was a dream come true for him and his parents.

“I promised my parents I’d do it, I promised myself I’d do it. It took eight years, it should have taken six or seven. I had some other engagements,” ESPN quotes him shortly after graduating.

While Shaquille O’Neal college degree in arts calmed the expectations that his parents had, he delved deep into basketball. Nothing bothered him much because he already fulfilled a promise he had made to his parents.

He made a fortune playing with the late Kobe Byrant, and Michael Jordan for the Los Angeles Lakers. It is here that his ‘Diesel’ nickname came about to verbally symbolize his gigantic size and undying performance just like diesel-powered engines in cars.

Together with Kobe, Shaq won three consecutive NBA titles for Lakers and this made him flourish in the NBA.

What Is Shaq’s Master’s Degree?

Shaq’s has an MBA in Business from the University of Phoenix which he enrolled in in 2005. Here is why he decided to get it. With a huge net worth by 2002, he started investing and opened several businesses. Yet again, he felt challenged every time he went for business meetings because there was a lot of business knowledge he lacked.

In a past interview with NBA on TNT, he recalls his unknowing looks he always threw to his lawyers and accountants during business deal meetings.

“I noticed that every time I go to a business meeting, the guys we’re doing deals with will be like, ‘Hello Shaq, how are you doing? …….And then they would turn away and look at my lawyers, accountants, and all those guys.  So I said, `Oh, you guys don’t think I’m in charge? You guys don’t think I understand the lingo?”

This also played a big role in Shaquille O’Neal college degree subject. There was a problem though in his quest to earn an MBA. The University only offered this course online, yet, Shaq wanted to attend in-person lectures.

The University informed him that for this to happen, they needed at least 15 students – this was no problem for Shaq. He gathered 15 of his friends, paid for them and they attended the classes physically.

How Many Phds Does Shaq Have?

Of Shaquille O’Neal college degree, the multiple NBA champion has a PhD from Barry University in organizational learning and leadership. His area of specialization is human resource development and graduated in 2020. That’s 28 years after his NBA draft, and the year he promised his parents that he would get a college degree despite his NBA fortunes.

To this day, earning a doctorate degree remains his biggest achievement in life. His rich academic background has helped him run his businesses better.

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal. Photo/Sports Illustrated

Meanwhile, O’Neal recently underwent hip replacement surgery which sparked a lot of concern, but there is more to it. He tweeted a message for his co-hosts, Ernie Johnson and Candace Parker, along with a photo of himself in a hospital bed.

O’Neal in a tweet said the love he is getting is overwhelming but it is not that serious.

“To all the people who are worried and concerned. First off, let me say thank you. And lastly, no need to worry, just had to get some BBL WORK AKA #hipreplacement. Thanks and love you all. But no need to worry and yes I’m fine,” he tweeted.

At 51, his eyes are set on modelling for major underwear brands. He consistently lifts weight and has improved his physique significantly, especially with commendable weight loss.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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