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Shaquille O’Neal to speak at NCAA Convention

Shaquille O’Neal will be the featured speaker at 2013 NCAA Convention Keynote Luncheon on January 16 in Grapevine, Tex. O’Neal, a two-time, first-team All-American and college basketball player of the year at Louisiana State University, earned his doctorate in organizational learning and leadership from Barry University in May 2012.

O’Neal left LSU as a junior to join the NBA where he played 19 seasons, won four championships, earned three NBA Finals most valuable player awards, was named the NBA’s most valuable player and rookie of the year and was a member of 15 All-Star teams. He promised his mother, however, that he would finish his degree—a promise he kept in 2000 when he earned his bachelor’s in general studies and in 2005 when he completed a master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix.

O’Neal’s doctoral work specialized in human resource development and his capstone examined the duality of humor and aggression in leadership styles. He has attended each of his graduation ceremonies, hoisting one of his professors into the air in celebration when he received his doctorate.

Although O’Neal retired from the NBA in 2011, his presence continues to loom large in the national conversation. He was ranked fourth on Forbes’ Most Influential in Sports list in 2011 and has more than 6.4 million Twitter followers—making him the most-followed current or former NBA player.

O’Neal continues his association with basketball as an analyst for Turner Sports where he hosts TNT’s Inside the NBA.

The format of the Keynote Luncheon will be an interview with NCAA President Mark Emmert facilitating and will cover the importance education has played in O’Neal’s life and the value that his degrees bring in his post-NBA career.

Although the event is currently sold-out, a standby line will be available for NCAA Convention delegates interested in attending on a space-available basis.