NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is now officially an auxiliary deputy with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department in Florida.
The NBA icon doesn’t seem to want to rest on his laurels after his retirement from basketball. Just recently, he took on the “Shaquille Gets Real about Heart Failure” passion project, and now he will be dedicating his time toward his new duties in Florida. The American retired professional basketball player will be working hand-in-hand with the county’s auxiliary department, Fox News reported.
“Basketball legend @SHAQ goes by many nicknames, and now added to that list is Deputy Shaq,” the sheriff’s office announced in a tweet and on Facebook.
This is not the Basketball Hall of Famer's first time becoming a Deputy Sheriff. In Georgia, he was sworn in as an honorary deputy back in 2016 in Clayton County. Shaq is also a reserve officer in California, Florida, and Arizona. He has also taken the oath as a deputy marshal in Lafayette, Louisiana.
When NBC asked why the legendary star wants to spend time in law enforcement after such a prolific career on the basketball court back in 2017, he said, “This is not about politics, this is about bringing people closer together."
He explained that when he was growing up, "people loved and respected the police, and the deputies". His mission is now to bring that back, especially in the community he serves. Shaq also became interested in law enforcement early on as several family members had embraced a career in it.
Last year, Shaq consoled children after a head-on collision in Florida. The Lakers legend and members of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office were on their way to deliver Thanksgiving turkeys as part of his yearly ‘Shaq-a-clause’ campaign when they witnessed the crash. Images and video show him consoling two young boys who had been involved in the accident.
A post by the Broward Sheriff’s Office on Facebook read, “While deputies handled the crash scene, Shaq sprang into action and comforted the children who were involved in the wreck.”
After cops handled the situation, Deputy Shaq continued on to hand out turkeys.