Shaquille O’Neal’s a superstar on and off the basketball court.
The 4-time NBA champion’s had his hands full since his retirement from professional basketball in 2011. He’s been in dozens of commercials and is even one of the stars of TNT’s award-winning NBA discussion-comedy show, Inside the NBA .
Shaq’s one of the biggest personalities in American sports history.Unsplash/Christopher Kuzman Source: Unsplash/Christopher Kuzman
Oh, and I almost forgot – he’s also a respected rapper and DJ.
He’s had so many nicknames over the years that it’s hard to keep up, including:
- The Big Cactus
- The Big Aristotle
- The Big Shamrock
- Shaq Fu
He’s regarded as a top-10 NBA player of all time and one of the game’s greatest centers.
But enough about Shaq’s accomplishments. Something perhaps more noteworthy than his illustrious achievements may very well be his soft heart.
He’s a gentle giant.
Recently off of I-75 in Florida, while passing through Alachua County, Shaq noticed a family in need. He saw a few cars pulled over to the side of the road.
Shaq to the rescue! They do call him Superman, after all.Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff Source: Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff
The ever-expanding town of Gainesville and the University of Florida Gators are incredibly close to this exact spot. I-75’s a major interstate that leads up the western spine of Florida, with Gainesville, the most populous area of Alachua County, right along the way.
A police vehicle pulls up, recording the entire scene amid a sunny Florida afternoon.
Shaq’s standing in the grass, all 7’1″ of him.Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff Source: Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff
An officer steps out of the vehicle and approaches Shaq, thanking him for his help.
Shaq extends his arm for a fist bump. The cop daps him up, casually stating,
Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff Source: Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff
The way they interact, you’d think they’ve known each other for a while.
The officer throws on a light, yellow-green vest as he walks with Shaq to assist the family up ahead.
He adds to Shaq, “I appreciate you stopping to help.”
Another officer exits the vehicle with the same vest on.Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff Source: Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff
The first officer asks the family, “Is everybody alright?”
Fortunately, the family responds with a strong affirmation.
Turns out, one of the tires blew out on the interstate. Thankfully, the vehicle looks like it was able to avoid any significant damage.
The second responder continues to approach the car, lending his services.Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff Source: Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff
Naturally, Shaq gives the second officer a fist bump.
The first officer walks away, indicating that the family’s in good hands with his partner taking the lead.
The interstate traffic continues. Even hardcore Shaq fans probably wouldn’t believe they just passed him.
Like seriously, why would Shaq be pulled off to the side of the road in the middle of central Florida?
He’s a helper at heart, that’s why.Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff Source: Facebook/Alachua County Sheriff
Videos like this aren’t all that uncommon to Alachua county, apparently.
The University of Florida’s quickly climbing the ranks of the best public universities in the United States, excelling in a broad range of academic disciplines, especially the STEM fields. Additionally, the school’s total enrollment has been consistently among the country’s largest for years.
The university’s clout and central location in the state of Florida between Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, and Tampa make Gainesville and greater Alachua County a prime candidate for absurd oddities – like Shaq helping random people on an interstate.
So what do you think of Shaq’s surprising roadside appearance? How would you react if you saw Shaq on the interstate? He seems like a pretty helpful, down to earth celebrity.
Don’t forget to check out the awesome footage of Shaq’s heroic deed below!
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Source: Inspire More , Alachua County Sheriff , US News , Bleacher Report