Basketball fans in Abu Dhabi were treated to a surprise on Monday when celebrity player Shaquille O’Neal hit the local court to shoot some hoops.
The 50-year-old former NBA star was having lunch in the capital when he took a break to play on a nearby court.
“My family is visiting and I live in Reemi, so we were in Santorini with Reemi and he was having lunch with his entourage,” said James McGill, 36, who easily spotted the 216cm star. in the restaurant.
“We followed him shooting hoops at Reem Park.”
Known as “Shaq” who is now a sports analyst Inside the NBA spent time posing for photos with fans as well as showing off his skills on the field.
When asked about his interactions with the star, McGill said he was “the sound guy”.
“Everyone chanting ‘Shaq Shaq Shaq!’ And he took the time to take selfies with everyone.”
The four-time NBA champion is in the United Arab Emirates for the first time in his role as an ambassador for the 2022 NBA Abu Dhabi Games.
O’Neal, a superstar center who graced teams such as the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat during a 19-year playing career, also participated in various interactive fan events and youth development programs.
The Abu Dhabi Games are part of a multi-year partnership between the NBA and the Abu Dhabi Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which launched this year the first Junior NBA Abu Dhabi League, a youth basketball league for 450 boys and girls aged 11-14. from local schools.
Updated: October 10, 2022 at 5:56 p.m