Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal Christmas gifts underprivileged kids

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal stepped up in a big way this Christmas by gifting hundreds of underprivileged children over 1,000 presents over the holiday. Shaq may be a household name but he makes the effort to stay grounded and not become some elitist celebrity.

Shaq Plays Santa 

Daily Mail reports that Shaq feels it’s important to give back because while he is now worth over $400 million, he “didn’t have a lot” growing up.

“You know for me, coming from where I come from, my father was a drill sergeant, my mother just was a hard-working woman,” he said. “Didn’t have a lot. But they taught me the value of giving back. They taught me the value of helping those in need.”

“When I was with Toys ‘R Us, there was an alarming stat: 15 to 20 million kids wake up on Christmas Day and not receive one gift. I felt that one time. I don’t ever want a kid to feel like that,” O’Neal added. “So, as long as I’m on this Earth, I’m always trying to do what I can to make sure kids get good toys. I don’t do promotional bulls*** [unintelligible] — good toys.”

Shaquille O’Neal Goes All Out For Christmas 

Shaq went on to reveal how he went about getting and distributing these Christmas presents.

“I call, you know, my friend from [Nintendo], got about 1,000 [Nintendo Switches] sitting there, got about 1,000 PS5s, I went to Walmart and got bikes,” he said. “So, you know, yesterday, at this little elementary school in McDonough, Georgia, kids were crying, kids were happy, and that’s what it’s all about.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by SportsCenter (@sportscenter)

While O’Neal also gives away Christmas gifts at his annual Shaq-A-Claus event, which he launched back in 1992, he has revealed in the past that he never accepts presents himself because he feels that he does not “deserve” them.

“I don’t accept gifts,” he told Page Six back in 2019. “You show me a movie where Santa receives gifts, and I’ll take one.”

Check out this video from one of the NBA legend’s “Shaq-A-Claus” events:

Related: Shaq Stands Up For Our Men & Women In Blue

He Wants To Give Back

It’s clear that Shaquille O’Neal has had this approach to Christmas for many years. 

“I know what it’s like to wake up and not get one single toy on Christmas and I don’t want any child to have to go through that,” he told TMZ in 2018.

We live in a world where it often seems like celebrities are self-centered individuals who are only focused on themselves and filling their own pockets.

Shaq, for one, does not want to be associated with the out-of-touch Hollywood elite. He said as much back in September of 2021 when he denounced his “celebrity-ness”.

“I’m done with it,” O’Neal told The New York Post. “I don’t want to be in that category.”

He added. “Celebrities are crazy, they really are. Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.”

“All my life, everyone probably gets stereotyped, but us celebrities, we get stereotyped because most of these celebrities are out of their mind,” O’Neal continued. “I don’t do that. I’m a regular person that listened, followed his dreams and made it.” 

That’s what makes Shaquille O’Neal’s attitude of giving back on Christmas so incredibly refreshing! He truly seems to care about these kids. And he really is making the holiday special for as many underprivileged children as he can. 

God bless you, Shaq! 

Read next: Shaquille O’Neal Slams Celebrities As Being “Out Of Their Minds” As He Renounces His Celebrity Status

Share: