Shaq Surprises Florida Kids by Appearing as Police Officer’s ‘Backup’ in Basketball Game


Even though there’s a lot of concern that usually goes into reports of heated confrontations between police officers and citizens, every now and then, you get that feel-good story about how situations get resolved in an awesome bit of community engagement.

On January 15, Gainesville, Florida officer Bobby White became a brief viral sensation when he responded to a noise complaint from a street game of basketball by joining the group of kids with their fun. White’s dash cam caught him asking whether it would be cool to come back with “backup” for another game someday, and the video blew up with shares when the department posted it on Facebook.

Evidently the video made its way to retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal, and he was so moved that he made a surprise visit to the police office and volunteered to support White and his colleagues for their rematch.

SHAQ SURPRISES OFFICER: You may have seen the viral video of the Gainesville officer who responded to a call about kids…

Posted by WSVN-TV on Sunday, January 24, 2016

Soon enough, White challenged the kids to another game, and needless to say, they were floored when they saw who had come to play.

From there, everyone had a good time as O’Neal squared off against the kids, stood for a few pictures, and offered $100 to anyone who could pull off a free throw. O’Neal wrapped things up by explaining to the kids how he grew up in a similar kind of neighborhood, and gave them some advice for how to pursue basketball and make the best out of life.

“I’m proud of you guys. Stay out of trouble, listen to your parents, respect your elders and you can be anything you wanna be,” O’Neal said.

Watch above, via WSVN-TV

[h/t NBC]
[Image via screengrab]

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