Shaquille O'Neal Gifted 1,000 PS5s and Nintendo Switches To Needy Kids Over Christmas
Shaquille O'Neal became a real-life Santa Claus at Christmas after he gave away thousands of free presents.
The towering former NBA legend decided that he wanted to give underprivileged kids a reason to smile during 2021 Christmas.
So he called up a few friends and dropped some serious cash at Walmart to give away some awesome gifts.
He handed out 1,000 PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch consoles as well as some bikes.
Shaq-a-Claus brought the holiday spirit to children at Wesley Lake Elementary School in McDonough, GA! :gift: @SHAQ joined us for the event which featured donations from @pepsi, @Fritolay, Tonka and many more.#PepsiStrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/dJS0NB49T0- Pepsi Stronger Together (@PepsiStronger) December 27, 2021
According to EssentiallySports, Shaq felt compelled to give back to the community because of his parents.
Speaking on Gary Vaynerchuk's The Gary Vee Audio Experience podcast, the 7 foot 1 inch Santa said: "You know for me, coming from where I come from, my father was a drill sergeant, my mother just was a hard-working woman,"
"Didn't have a lot. But they taught me the value of giving back. They taught me the value of helping those in need.
"When I was with Toys 'R Us, there was an alarming stat: 15 to 20 million kids wake up on Christmas Day and not receive one gift.
"I felt that one time. I don't ever want a kid to feel like that.
"So, as long as I'm on this Earth, I'm always trying to do what I can to make sure kids get good toys. I don't do promotional bulls*** [unintelligible] -- good toys.
"I call, you know, my friend from [Nintendo], got about 1,000 [Nintendo Switches] sitting there, got about 1,000 PS5s, I went to Walmart and got bikes.
"So, you know, yesterday, at this little elementary school in McDonough, Georgia, kids were crying, kids were happy, and that's what it's all about."
He has been giving away toys, gifts and presents for the past few years under his annual Shaq-A-Claus event.
The former athlete refuses to receive gifts because he doesn't feel like he deserves them.
He told Page Six: "I don't accept gifts. You show me a movie where Santa receives gifts, and I'll take one."
As he was growing up, his dad said his focus was on making sure Shaq's younger siblings got presents on Christmas.
However, one year he received a signed Dr. J basketball, which he says changed his life and helped him become the person he is today.