How Mother Lucille O’Neal’s debt-stricken life spurred Shaq O’Neal to NBA stardom

Ever wondered how the sun shines so much? Well, very simple, it shines because it can endure intense burning. When observing closely, this fact suits quite well for the legendary basketball player Shaq O’Neal as well who surpassed many poignant obstacles in his life to climb to the throne of success.

So, let’s have a look at the other side of his stardom discovering Shaq’s mostly unheard childhood and adulthood stories.

Rough childhood without biological father who was imprisoned due to drug possession

The four-time NBA Champion wasn’t born with a silver spoon on the mouth rather he was welcomed into a household where poverty is a constant companion.

Shaq’s biological father Joe Toney was a severe alcoholic and was passing days in imprisonment while his compassionate wife was struggling to make ends meet with his son. He almost did nothing for the basketball champ’s nursing during his childhood and seemingly left them to starve to death.

Who is Shaquille O'Neal's mother, Lucille O'Neal? Taking a closer look at  NBA legend's support system

Mother Lucille’s battle to raise Shaq

As a single mother, Lucille was struggling in pretty much every step to raise her loving son. After Joe, she even married an army official, Phillip A. Harrison with the hope of finding a new life but still found herself struggling to provide for Shaq adequately.

Even in the midst of hardship, Lucille never really left her son’s side and tried to keep on supporting him in every walk of his life. At the end of the day, it is she who played a huge role in the legend’s stardom.

Shaq’s rise to prominence after NBA contract, ending the debt-riddled life

Holding the hands of the Orlando Magic, the current sports analyst’s NBA dream came true as the 1st overall pick of the first round of the 1992 draft.

His first NBA contract paid him $17.4 million which was enough for him to break free of the vicious cycle of poverty and move forward towards a better life with his dear mother.

Life doesn’t deal the same hand to all. However, those who could make something extraordinary out of ashes are usually called legends and the former NBA player is a great example of that. What is your take on Shaq’s rise to stardom from a troublesome childhood? Share your opinion in the comment section below.

Golenur Aktar

323 articles

Golenur Aktar is a writer and made her debut in the 'Pen & Paper' industry holding the hands of Sportszion. She ignited her writing craze from Biography articles and now writes about NFL.


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