After learning about a girl's tragic death through the national news, O'Neal was moved by what he saw. He stepped up to the plate and paid off the entire cost of the girl's funeral.
The kidnapped Shaniya Davis' funeral was held on Sunday, with more than 2,000 people gathered.
It is truly inspiring to see a professional athlete have the heart to provide monetary support to a meaningful cause. While athletes can quickly become known for their in-game achievements and highlight-reel plays, Shaq stands out as an athlete that has provided for fans on and off the court.
Shaq's kind gesture comes around Thanksgiving—a time when people step back and take time to appreciate all that they've been fortunate to have. O'Neal has had a profound impact on thousands of peoples' lives—especially those close to Shaniya—and will forever be remembered in those people's minds.
Some athletes and people make a significant amount of money, but take a selfish approach to how they use their assets. O'Neal has demonstrated—through this situation and other community events throughout his career—that he truly cares for others.
While Shaquille will go down as one of the best NBA centers to ever play the game, he will long be remembered and idolized by young fans for his contributions outside of the basketball arena.