A half-court shot bet is why Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal gave away more than 30 laptops to a Boys and Girls Club clubhouse in Orlando, Florida.
One shot, 36 laptops
Shaq brought the club 36 laptops to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s Levy-Hughes Clubhouse after losing a bet to one of the members, a female basketball player named KT Thompson, Click Orlando reported.
“That’s my favorite thing about basketball, the crowd, everything,” Thompson, a business management major at the University of Central Florida who made the shot, told News 6.
Shaq’s appearance at the clubhouse was part of CBS reality TV show “Secret Celebrity Renovation.” The television series features celebrities gifting a surprise home renovation to a person/organization who needs.
“It really took me back to playing at the YMCA,” Thompson told Click Orlando. “I actually played against his (Shaq’s) daughter… when I made it, I was like, ‘Well, I am used to it,’ and the kids was like, ‘We going home with laptops…’ It was cool.”
Shaq promised to buy the laptops if one person could make a half-court shot.
Thompson stepped up and made the shot on the first try.
Shaq, whose net worth is estimated to be $400 million, honored the bet and proceeded to carry in 36 laptops.
“Just for the kids having the opportunity to open the box, opening a new laptop that right there was the moment that they this is what being in the Girls and Boys Club is all about,” service director of the club Tasha Robinson-Banks said.
“This is exciting because there are many homes in this area who really, they just don’t get the extras,” Robinson-Banks told Click Orlando. “They can now do some extra things, coding, you know, learning how to create movies and videos, doing some podcasting, whatever that they dream of doing.”
Shaq’s History of Promoting Education
Shaq is a big advocate of higher education, earning his doctorate in 2012.
O’Neal has a doctoral degree in education after being enrolled in Barry University’s Adrian Dominican School of Education. He received his doctoral degree in organizational learning and leadership with a specialization in human resource development, Finurah previously reported.
Shaq Likes To Give Gifts
“I try to make every day a meaningful moment for a fan, and especially a kid,” O’Neal, told People magazine in August.
“My favorite thing to do is when I’m in Best Buy, Walmart, if I see a kid, get them something that I see he’s looking at,” O’Neal said. “Oh, like yesterday I saw a couple kids. I bought a couple bikes, a couple more scooters.”