Cover Image for 5th grader Shaquille O’Neal witnessed a life-changing phenomenon that changed him from a bully to class clown

5th grader Shaquille O’Neal witnessed a life-changing phenomenon that changed him from a bully to class clown

Raahib Singh
|Tue Aug 16 2022

Shaquille O’Neal used to be the biggest bully until 5th grade, where his actions caused a life-altering event

Shaquille O’Neal played in the NBA for 19 seasons. During that time, Shaq established himself as one of the most dominant players the league has ever seen, if not the most. The 7’1 big man was a menace on the offensive end and equally as troubling on the defensive end.

Turns out, the big man had been causing troubles even before he turned a teenager. While he was still in middle school, Shaq was already 6 feet tall  and bigger than the rest of the kids. This caused a lot of kids to make fun of him. At the same time, his added height and size gave Shaq the opportunity to get back at everyone making fun of him.

Also Read: 7’0″ Shaquille O’Neal is a Hall of Famer but his kids prefer Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

As he recalled, Shaq called himself a ‘medium-level juvenile delinquent.’ However, an incident in 5th grade changed the way Shaq approached school life.

Shaquille O’Neal caused a kid to have a seizure and almost die!

In an interview with Graham Bensinger, Shaq recalled his school days and how he chose to be a bully.

“One day, I had a spit wad and I threw it at the chalkboard. It splattered and this kid rats me out. Prior to that, my father said, ‘If you get suspended again, I’m gonna kill you. I’m going to beat you like you’ve never been beaten before. You’re irresponsible and you’re a medium-level juvenile delinquent.’ I go to the office. Three days (suspended) and now I gotta go home and I already know what I’m getting when I get home. But before I go home, I’m gonna whoop your ass.

“So I’m beating this kid up and I’m kicking this kid and he has an epileptic seizure. It’s just me and the kid and he’s on the ground shaking. Now, I’m frightened. A guy comes and saves the kid. I got home and got disciplined and my mother said, ‘You’re too big and too strong. You can’t ever do that again.’ That kinda stayed with me. I didn’t want to do that anymore. Let me go to Plan B. I was always the class clown, funny guy. So I just stuck with that rather than being a bully.”

Also Read: 7’0 Shaquille O’Neal used his $400 million fortune to set a ‘world record’ in his bedroom

From that day onwards, the big fella tried to be the one who made everyone laugh, instead of scaring everyone.

About the author
Raahib Singh

Raahib Singh

Raahib is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. A Computer Science Engineer by qualification, Raahib's passion for sports drew him towards TSR, and his love for Stephen Curry and the Warriors made him stay. Raahib enjoys reading, watching movies, and exploring new things during his free time.

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