Shaquille O'Neal Earns Doctorate from Barry University

Jason S. Parini@@JasonPariniBRCorrespondent IIMay 6, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 28:  Shaquille O'Neal #36 of the Boston Celtics warm up before the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 28, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Celtics 88-71. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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First there was Doctor J.  Now there's Dr. Shaq. 

No, seriously!  Seventeen years after leaving college early to enter the NBA draft, Shaq earned his doctorate's degree in education from Barry University in Miami.  Dr. O'Neal graduated with a 3.813 GPA, according to Fox News, and was one of approximately 1,100 graduates in the commencement ceremony.

Shaq attended Louisiana State as a business major, and promised his mother that he would return to college following his NBA career, and he did just that.  "I think I'm going to try law school next," he stated.  He also said that his doctorate's degree was his biggest accomplishment, and Momma O'Neal agreed.

Barry University, which has 52,000 alumni according to its alumni page, was recommended to Shaq by a Miami Heat foot doctor in 2006.  Unknown to many people, Shaq was actually attending classes during his last two years in the NBA, though most of them were taken through satellite and video conferencing. 

I certainly hope that the hoops were out of the way in the gymnasium as he walked across the stage.  At 7'1" tall, the man would probably have to duck to avoid his head hitting the rims if the stage was underneath them.  Heck, he even had to get on one knee in order for the president to place his blue hood on him. 

Personally, I think Shaq would be a great teacher.  The man has accomplished everything on the hardwood, but has also done a great deal off the court, including acting, rapping, enforcing the law as a police officer and multiple other endeavors.  His charisma and personality also make him fun to listen to, and he certainly is a people person.

Shaq didn't say what he would do with a law degree.  I certainly hope that the man doesn't try to become president...although no names mentioned, he may be better than some candidates.