Retired NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal and his family might live comfortably because of his $300-million fortune as a basketball legend, but he expects his children to create their own wealth and not feed off the riches of their famous father.
During a podcast interview for the program "Earn Your Leisure," the NBA star revealed that he's been teaching his children to work hard so they can be rich. While they don't understand why he's being stingy, O'Neal said that he constantly gives a simple reminder to his children all the time.
"We ain't rich. I'm rich," O'Neal would keep telling his kids as he reiterated that he would not leave his fortune to them. He also values education more than basketball, so he advises his children to earn a college or master's degree so companies would see and invest in their capabilities.
Shaquille O'Neal Has 6 Kids
O'Neal has six children with ex-wife Shaunie O'Neal and former partner Arnetta Yardbourgh. Taahirah O'Neal, 25, Yardbourgh's daughter, entered the corporate workforce with PepsiCo after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oglethorpe University. Myles B. O'Neal, 24, is Shaquille's adopted son and Shaunie's biological son from a previous relationship. He has charted a career in the entertainment business.
Shareef Rashaun O'Neal, 21, has been recruited to play basketball with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) during his freshmen and sophomore years, and the Louisiana State University (LSU), his father's old college team, during his junior and senior years in college. Amirah O'Neal, 20, was also on LSU's women's basketball team but transferred to Texas Southern University this fall.
Shaqir O'Neal, 18, has signed up with the college basketball team of Texas Southern University to join his sister. The youngest of the siblings, Me'arah O'Neal, 15, is a varsity player in her high school basketball team in Miami.
As a dad, Shaquille wants his children to understand that he "came from nothing" before amassing his fortune. He also does not want his kids to be defined by money. He keeps instilling in his grown kids that being rich doesn't mean that a person is smarter and better.
Shaquille O'Neal's Childhood
Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, Shaquille didn't know his biological father, Joe Toney, because he was imprisoned when his son was still an infant. After Toney got out of jail, he did not want to participate in Shaquille's life.
Instead, the basketball superstar considered Army Sargeant Phillip Harrison as his father, a very strict man. Shaquille admitted that he was a stubborn and delinquent kid, but Harrison straightened him out and helped him succeed as a person. Because of Harrison's persistent teaching and discipline, O'Neal earned a college degree, an MBA, and a doctorate, on top of his achievements as a talented and widely idolized basketball superstar. He was also sworn in as a sheriff's deputy in Georgia, dabbled in music and movies, and dreamed of pursuing a law career. He also invested in a lot of successful food business ventures.
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