NBA Legend Shaq O'Neal Pays For Victim Of High School Shooting To Find New Home

The former All-Star continues to use his profile to help others
11:42, 21 Oct 2019

Shaquille O’Neal is a literal giant of a man. Standing all of seven-foot-one with a size 22 shoe, the 15-time all star is an iconic figure of 90s basketball. Since retiring from the court in 2011, with four NBA championship rings to his name, O’Neal remains a visible and much-beloved figure.

His philanthropy is now becoming as legendary as his blocked shots. A few months after buying 10 pairs of shoes for a teenager unable to afford footwear for his size 18 feet, Shaq is once again using his profile to help another.

In August, 12-year-old Isaiah Payton was the unintended target of a bullet in a high-school shooting during an American Football game at Lakewood Stadium in southeast Atlanta, Georgia - the bullet hit his spine and Isaiah unfortunately became paralyzed from the waist down. 

Isaiah's mother, Allison Woods, subsequently had to quit her job in order to assist her son in his long-term care. O’Neal has now helped provide new accommodation, moving the family out of an unsuitable apartment into a better neighbourhood, and donating a year’s rent. Shaq has also informed them that he will be helping to furnish their new home.

O’Neal stated to WXIA-TV:  "I was watching the story and it's just sad. It could have been any one of us. It could have been my son. It could've been your cousin and she was living in a one-bedroom apartment with her two boys, so we found her a house in a nice area.

"I'm going to get her some ring cameras on me. We're going to give her some furniture, TVs and pay her rent off for a year and help her get on her feet."

As a former NBA star, most notably at the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O'Neal scored 28,596 points during his 19-year career, at the time the fifth-most in NBA history (he now sits at a still very respectable eighth). 

However, this recent demonstration of generosity should be celebrated even more than his on-court prolificacy.

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