Future NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement plans via Twitter Wednesday afternoon, sending a video directly to his 11 billion followers. While most are going to remember him for his 19-year pro career, which included multiple titles, broken backboards, terrible rap albums and fantastic movies (or the other way around), let's not forget his career as one of the greatest LSU Tigers athletes ever.
As a kid, Shaq met LSU coach Dale Brown in Europe, where the future Big Fella spent much of his childhood due to his father being in the military. His eventual landing in Baton Rouge resulted in two consensus SEC Player of the Year awards, the 1991 Adolph Rupp Award, two All-American honors and cultivated a national personality that maybe sort of inspired -- minus all the points-shaving and whatnot -- the movie Blue Chips, one of the first of his many movie roles. O'Neal set copious school and conference records for rebounds and blocked shots.
Seriously, look how out of place Shaq looked here:
Louisiana State will soon unveil a statue of O'Neal, alongside other former Bayou Bengal greats like Pete Maravich. O'Neal, who's donated millions and millions of dollars to his college, was reported to have initially resisted plans for a statue, but eventually relented.