It has been reported that Shaquille O’ Neal filed for divorce from wife, Shaunie O’Neal, on Tuesday, September 4, 2007 in the Miami-Dade district court system in Florida. The O’Neals have been married for five years and have 4 children together and 2 other children prior to their marriage. While most star athletes or celebrities would go undercover immediately after such an announcement, Shaq O’Neal, former LSU All-American and current NBA Miami Heat player is back in his former college town of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
What is Shaq up to?
Shaquille O’Neal will be participating in the Shaquille O’Neal CHAMPS- Life Skills Program today along with other student athletes. The project is a local one and it involves rebuilding a playground at Polk Elementary School. The playground at Polk Elementary School was in dire need of repairs. Champs took notice of this and organized a work day to remedy the situation. Donations from 84 Lumber in the amount of $20,000 and other local contributions will go a long way to making this playground fun for the children with new activities and also a safe environment for them to play in. O’Neal will also take time to address the student body at Polk Elementary today.
The Champs – Life Skills Program was established for LSU student athletes to give something back to the community. Many LSU athletes have participated in the program through the years and look forward to the opportunities offered by this program. It benefits the community and the athletes by allowing them to build character and offer services to needy organizations and/or projects. The program was subsequently named after the standout athlete, who has not only participated in events while a student athlete at LSU, but continued his efforts after he joined the NBA.
Champs has student athlete representatives participating in annual trips to the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s hospital by the football, baseball, basketball and gymnastics teams to visit and chat with patients. Sometimes they bring small gifts to cheer them up or stop to give autographs. They also participate in March of Dimes events, Walks for Life, American Cancer Association fund raisers and visiting schools to address the students. Most of these talks are pep talks that encourage students to stay in school and get an education.
O’Neal also sponsors an annual golf tournament to benefit the Champs Program. The annual Shaquille O’Neal Life Skills Golf Classic will be held on Friday, September 7, 2007 at Carter Plantation starting at 8 am.
If you see a tall, good-looking dude on the sidelines at the opening home football game of the LSU Tigers on Saturday, September 8, 2007 when they take on Virginia Tech and think it may be Shaq–you’re probably right! Hat’s off to a really big guy with an even bigger heart!