Shaq Makes Stop In DFW To Give Students Advice That Will Help Them Stand Tall In Life – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s usually impossible to ignore when a larger than life figure enters a room and makes his way through a crowd. That is maybe triple the case when it’s Shaquille O’Neal coming to support young people in the state of Texas — a place where he spent much of his childhood.
Shaq made his way to the Metroplex this week to visit St Philip’s School in Dallas. “I have children ,so I’m well versed in this area… just have to try to give them positive motivation,” he said.
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St Philip’s Headmaster Dr. Terry Flowers says, “A child can’t be what a child can’t see. So, St Philip’s continually tries to expose our students to greatness.”
Shaq embodies the greatness of always being head-and-shoulders above the rest in the sport of basketball, the business world, and as a philanthropist.
As the guest of honor at St Philip’s annual awards luncheon, Shaq displayed for students a real life standard of excellence that they can shoot for. Jonathan Lax, a sixth-grader at the school, had a list of things for Shaq. “I would just like to tell him about myself and what I do. Just that I’m a straight-A student and I also play basketball,” he said.
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In turn, Shaq made it his mission to tell the students about simple things that really helped him. He gave them advice that could be considered a 3-pointer. “The first thing I tell them, and it’s very simple, I tell them listen to your mommy and daddy,” he explained. “First thing I tell them — I’m just like you. Second thing I tell them is be a leader and not a follower and the third thing I tell them is always follow your dreams — no matter what.”
There’s no question that for most of the youngsters the afternoon provided a chance to see the biggest star they may ever meet. Shaq’s presence transcends sports because keep in mind, the kids he spoke to weren’t even alive for his playing career.
Former Dallas Mavericks Coach Avery Johnson, who interviewed Shaq during the program, pointed out that, “Especially for kids that are underserved or minority kids, they need to see some living examples of what success looks like and they need to see it on the basketball court, but they also need to see it in the business world.”
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St. Philip’s School currently serves children from Pre-K through 6th grade. As it stands, 100% of the students who graduate from there attend high school and more than 90% of the students go on to college.