Shaquille O’Neal Spawning Plethora of Young Athletes Named in His Honor

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Shaquille O'Neal broke into the NBA in 1992 after being selected with the top pick by the Orlando Magic.

He was an instant celebrity, and, unsurprisingly, many parents named their children Shaquille in his honor.

Now, 18 years later, many of those baby Shaquilles — Eddy Curry aside — are making major impacts in high school sports, particularly in communities in northeast Mississippi, the American Chronicle reports.

Shaquille Williams of Corinth High School is a defensive tackle who compensates for his lack of ideal size with intelligence and motor. His favorite NBA player, though, is Kobe Bryant.

Track standout Shaquille Prather of Booneville High, on the other hand, prefers Dwyane Wade, while Starkville's three-sport standout Shaquille Hill prefers Carmelo Anthony.

At Walnut High, Shaquille Perry is not only an elite long jumper but is also averaging more than 15 yards per carry on the ground — numbers that have caught the eyes of multiple college coaches.

Pontonoc High School features two Shaquilles on its basketball team: Shaquille Crayton and Shaquille Gillard. Gillard's full name is even Shaquille O'Neal Gillard.

The list of Shaquilles in the region goes on and on, and it's far from the only place where this is happening.

O'Neal's legacy, it seems, will be lasting for a very long time.

NESN.com 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. 21: The Shaq hacking saga continues.

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