Shaquille O'Neal Earns Ph. D With Doctorate In Education: [ send to a friend ]
While Shaquille O'Neal will always be referred to simply as 'Shaq', he can now also be called Dr. O'Neal.
This after the towering basketball center earned a doctorate in education after more than four years of graduate school work, including sessions as he played around the country, and a dissertation titled 'How Leaders Utilize Humor or Seriousness in Leadership Roles'.
O'Neal completed 16 courses, 54 credit hours, and finished with a 3.8 GPA at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida.
"Kids can still call me Shaq, but adults should call me Dr. O'Neal," he tells the Miami Herald. "I did this for two reasons. One, I wanted to continue challenging myself, see if I could do it."
"I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent, didn't believe in school. But my parents instituted no pass-no play in our house, and that changed my life."
"Also, a lot of kids look up to me, especially my own kids, and now that I'm not playing anymore, I want them to have something to look up to me for."
"As I was playing, I was doing a lot of business and a lot of the people I was dealing didn't think we athletes knew what we're talking about, so I wanted to get my MBA."
"As for my doctorate, I consider myself an expert on leadership from all the years leading in the locker room, but I wanted to become a professional practitioner in the field of leadership. I want to be an African-American version of Tony Robbins, a motivational speaker who can go into Fortune 500 companies and teach them how to get better."
"When I first met with the professors at Barry about doing this, they made it very clear they weren't giving me anything because their name was on the line, and I told them 'I will do the work, I'm not one of those guys who wants things given to me.'"
Shaquille O'Neal played for nineteen seasons in the NBA and won four NBA Championships before retiring last summer.