Shaq in College Basketball H.O.F.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – By now, the story of how long-time Louisiana State University (LSU) coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O’Neal has been told many times.
Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
What is often forgotten is just how far fate stretched for it to happen.
It wasn’t a large army base – Wildflecken was so remote that the nearest large city in what was then West Germany was several hours away. There was one gym, one commissary. Soldiers despised the high altitude and lousy weather.
“For him to show up,” O’Neal said, “that meant everything to me.”
Brown would ultimately give O’Neal the confidence he needed to attend college, something he had never dreamed possible, and make it into the NBA, back then not even a dream.
So it made sense – maybe fate intervened again – that O’Neal and Brown would be inducted together into the College Basketball Hall of Fame on last night in Kansas City.
They were joined by six other luminaries, including former Duke star Grant Hill, Louisville standout Darrell Griffith, long-time Maryland coach Gary Williams, Stetson’s Glenn Wilkes Sr, Five-Star Basketball Camp founder Howard Garfinkel and the late Prairie View A&M star Zelmo Beaty.