Get All Access for $5/mo

Shaq Provides New Shoes to Elementary School Students In Georgia O'Neal invests in youth on an ongoing basis through philanthropic work.

By Andrea Blackstone Edited by Emily Rella

This story originally appeared on Black Enterprise

NBC | Getty Images

On May 22, WSB-TV reported that 100 students who attend Wesley Lakes Elementary School in McDonough, Ga., had an opportunity to meet former NBA star, Dr. Shaquille O'Neal, while also getting new sneakers.

As a part of The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation, Reebok and Soles4Souls' mission to distribute 500 new pairs of shoes to kids in need in Henry County by the end of the summer, the NBA analyst made a personal appearance for the celebration, according the report.

WSB-TV also said that Soles4Souls told the news station that they have distributed over 61 million pairs of shoes in 129 countries, over the past 15 years. They were "ecstatic" about partnering with O'Neal.

Related: Want Millions of Views for Your Virtual Event? Just Add Shaq and Gronk.

"It's all about the kids," O'Neal said, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. "The two things that really hurt me this year were seeing 40 million people out of work, and I hate seeing kids who don't have what they need."

Additionally, FOX 5 Atlanta also said that organizers will distribute the remaining pairs of shoes to children in need over the summer. The station added that O'Neal helped provide gifts to children last Christmas with a toy drive in the Henry County area.

The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation and corporate partners reportedly helped high school athletes and athletic programs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. WSB-TV added that O'Neal has a home in Henry County.

O'Neal invests in youth on an ongoing basis through philanthropic work. According to The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation's website, the organization's mission is to create "pathways for underserved youth, to help them achieve their full potential."

Related: 9 Powerful Quotes from NBA All-Star and Entrepreneur Shaq

Building a highly capable team has been a part of O'Neal's strategy to give back. Forbes also explained that O'Neal welcomed business leaders to the Shaquille O'Neal Foundation's new board of directors. They include his uncle and agent, Mike Parris — and Jeanie Buss, the daughter of the legendary Dr. Jerry Buss.

"The greatest leaders are the ones smart enough to hire people smarter," O'Neal said in the Interview. "We'll put our resources together — and we're definitely going to make a difference."

O'Neal also told Forbes that this is the time to create something to build a brighter future for children.

"Our mission is just to help underserved youth by providing them with resources, and opportunities. You know, a lot of people, especially our kids, our children, don't have that. These kids need somebody to look up to. They need stuff to do. And we want to provide that," O'Neal said.

In the interview, O'Neal said that his foundation focuses on assisting children from Atlanta and Las Vegas, because he lives in Atlanta and Las Vegas and can personally show up at any time.

Related: Why Continuous Learning Is Critical for Entrepreneurs and Their Teams

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

'We Pulled Off An SEO Heist': Entrepreneur Stole 3.6 Million Pageviews From Competitors — And Your Business Could Be Next.

This has huge implications for businesses that rely on Google's organic traffic for revenue.


The Key to Real Innovation Is Cross-Pollination — Here Are 10 Ways to Implement It in Your Business

Transform your business with this unique approach to sparking innovation.

Business News

Wells Fargo Reportedly Fired More Than a Dozen Employees for Faking Keyboard Activity

The bank told Bloomberg that it "does not tolerate unethical behavior."

Starting a Business

Spend Less Time Worrying About Your Company's Runway — And More Time Rethinking Your Strategy. Here's How.

Perceived short runways leave founders in angst. It does not have to be this way; the best way to extend the runway is the right strategy.

Business Solutions

Why Every Solopreneur Needs to Embrace AI-Powered Teams

With the right approach, solopreneurs can harness AI to drive efficiency, productivity and business growth.