Shaquille O’Neal Learned On-Air Ropes From Dick Vitale at Early Age


Believe it or not, Shaquille O’Neal wasn’t always comfortable in front of the camera.

As a senior at the McDonald’s High School All-American Game in 1989, Shaq was interviewed by Dick Vitale, who told the big teenager to “not get nervous and make believe your’re playing on a court,”  after Shaq asked if they were going to be on live TV.

The pair talked about his future at LSU and how he would mesh with his future teammates Chris Jackson (who would change his name to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf just two years later) and fellow 7-footer Stanley Roberts. Roberts would be drafted by the Magic two years later with the 23rd overall selection in the 1991 draft but would be quickly replaced (again) by O’Neal, who was Orlando’s first overall selection in the 1992 draft.

Check out the video below of an awkwardly young Shaq in some interesting shorts. will showcase one Moment of Shaq every day until the Celtics open the season against the Heat on Oct. 26 at the TD Garden.

Sept. 8: Shaq gets roasted.

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