“You know what I was? Never cum Laude”: When Shaquille O’Neal attended his daughter Taahirah O’Neal’s graduation ceremony

Arun Sharma
|Published April 21, 2022

Shaquille O’Neal is daddy extraordinaire – he is present for all of his kid’s achievements.

Taahirah O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal’s eldest daughter graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oglethorpe University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Politics and African American studies. He went to her graduation ceremony all dressed up and with the nervous energy of a proud father.

Shaq is one for being ever-present for his kids – he makes sure he never misses any of their achievements. And when his daughter was graduating near the top of her class, there was no way he would miss it for anything in the world. He had already missed out on a lot of events when he was playing, he would not miss anymore.

She currently works at PepsiCo. as a social media analyst, getting ready to take over her father’s business when the time comes. Or something of that sort, Shaq jokes. He also joked about being just an average student with her, coining himself a “Never cum laude” student!

Also Read: “Similar to Kobe Bryant? Stop it, nobody is even close!”: Shaquille O’Neal rubbishes comparisons to the Black Mamba 

Shaquille O’Neal makes sure his kids don’t go through what he went through – he teaches them the value of life and education

Big Shaq values family over everything now that he’s done with his playing career. It’s not that he did not care about them when he was winning 4 championships, it’s just that he could not give them enough time as he can now. He rues every event he missed while playing – a sacrifice all athletes have to make.

People are quick to say “Oh but he made so much money, it shouldn’t matter!“. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine missing your kid’s birthday, or their high-school graduation because you were playing. Yes, you were making money, but wouldn’t you rather live that moment with them? Your kid will never be 18 and graduate high school again, despite all the millions you give them.

At the age of 50, Shaq is almost done setting up all of his kids for life. Shareef is playing at LSU, his daughter Taahirah is graduating and the two other kids are on the way to college as well. He is everything his biological father never was – He stands like Sargent Phil Harrison for all of his kids.

Also Read: “Dwyane Wade reminded me of a superhero kid who didn’t know his powers”: Shaquille O’Neal sheds light on mentoring a young Flash

Share this article

About the author

Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. A double degree holder and a digital marketer by trade, Arun has always been a sports buff. He fell in love with the sport of basketball at a young age and has been a Lakers fan since 2006. What started as a Kobe Bryant obsession slowly turned into a lifelong connection with the purple and gold. Arun has been an ardent subscriber to the Mamba mentality and has shed tears for a celebrity death only once in his life. He believes January 26, 2020, was the turning point in the passage of time because Kobe was the glue holding things together. From just a Lakers bandwagoner to a basketball fanatic, Arun has spent 16 long years growing up along with the league. He thinks Stephen Curry has ruined basketball forever, and the mid-range game is a sight to behold. Sharma also has many opinions about football (not the American kind), F1, MotoGP, tennis, and cricket.

Read more from Arun Sharma