“The only person who can really motivate you is you.”


Shaq, as the world knows him, is one of the most dominating professional basketball players in NBA history. Towering at over seven feet, he has shattered records and backboards from the moment he arrived in the big leagues.

The numerous honors he has won include: three NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, MVP in each of those finals, led the league in field goal percentage five times, and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. No small feat given the competition in this world-class environment.

There is another accomplishment that is less well-known but extremely important to Shaq. When he was drafted to the pros from Louisiana State University in his junior year, he made a promise that he would return to finish his degree. One might wonder why he would worry about graduating since he had such a lucrative career and did not appear to need a diploma to be more successful in life. But he had made a commitment to his mother, his school and himself. And he likes to keep his promises. It was not easy—he attended 9 summer school sessions and finally reached his goal of graduating in December of 2000 with a BA in General Studies and a minor in Political Science. Unfortunately, the ceremony in Louisiana was scheduled on a game night. In a clear demonstration of what was really important he got permission to miss the game—though at a financial cost to him—and walked through the line to mark this important milestone in his life. A promise kept and statement made that life really is more than a game.

Perseverance. Pass It On!

This billboard about Perseverance features Shaquille O'Neal; National Basketball Association player.

Pass It On®

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Your Comments
Anonymous JANUARY 26, 2022
never give up

Keeg OCTOBER 20, 2021
Shaq was a good laker

Kingston SEPTEMBER 3, 2021
Shaq is amazing

mya dempsey from 9204 cinder pl kapooka drive APRIL 23, 2020
love it!!

moises Ismael Capetillo from 5119 west glen 87105 ABQ NM  APRIL 21, 2020
love it

Jenna Herritt from Kent state APRIL 14, 2020
Wow,amazingly wonderful,oh and thanks Shaq.

Anonymous APRIL 7, 2020
love it

Anonymous MARCH 7, 2018
I love it!

Anonymous FEBRUARY 26, 2018
Love this. Makes me feel like I can do anything.

Anonymous FEBRUARY 14, 2018
This is lit

Anonymous FEBRUARY 14, 2018
I love it

mick from freeport JANUARY 25, 2018
this is the best

milly rock from not telling MAY 9, 2017
great article did a project on him and it was the the best

Anonymous JANUARY 23, 2017

Anonymous NOVEMBER 14, 2016

Anonymous SEPTEMBER 23, 2016
i loved

Tiphanie  SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
i love this

Anonymous SEPTEMBER 7, 2016
that was good

John from Florida APRIL 26, 2016
Shaq is super cool and did the right thing

Janaka from Matara, Sri Lanka MARCH 7, 2016

james from kettering,ohio JANUARY 25, 2016
he is cool

micheal from floomytown JANUARY 25, 2016
good good good good

James from denver JANUARY 25, 2016

Joseph Ron from Florida DECEMBER 7, 2015
He's sooooo funny

Anonymous SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
The fact I can get it right away with a lot more fun if I can see you soon and I'm still not working out with me on

Nathan from denton nc SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
Shaquille was pretty good at all times in a while ago but the fact I can get it right away with the best of the day before I get a follow from you and me both sides to the gym

Jasmine H. from Port Allen, LA JANUARY 8, 2014
i believe that if you put education first you will be beter off

Esther Otten from Saint Michael, Alaska AUGUST 22, 2013
He was a AWESOME basketball player to have Perseverance.

Sharon Thomas from Gainesville, FL 32606 AUGUST 16, 2013
Yes, students need to understand what it means "more than just a game."

Austin from TRMMS MARCH 22, 2013
He was a good center and knew how to deny the ball, even though his career ended with a bump he was still good at basketball!

Austin Ch. from CT MARCH 20, 2013
The best slam dunker I've ever seen!

moises r. from ct FEBRUARY 4, 2013
He was the best center I have ever seen, alot of changes happen to him when he was near retirement

! from Canada JANUARY 18, 2013
He is so awesome!

hi from my JANUARY 10, 2013
Shaq was persistent and determined.

Sarah from CT DECEMBER 25, 2011
I wish the educational part of Shaq's story was shared more with young athletes in this country - an education is something nobody can ever take away from you making it WAY more valuable than any team,deal, or paycheck you will ever get

Dawn B. from Wilkes-Barre, PA APRIL 13, 2010
It's a great story all around, displaying more than one admirable value, but it actually downplays the value of perseverance. Shaq kept going back every summer for 9 years, that's a long time to have to work at something. That is what perseverance is about: keeping on when you feel like it should be done already.

Tim S from Camillus, NY JANUARY 19, 2010
A like the fact that he stayed true to his word. Too many of us do not. If you don't have your word, what do you have? Well done Shaq T.S,

Chantel W. from Williamsport, PA  JANUARY 6, 2010
Makes me want to work harder for my degree. He inspires me to to stay in college.

chris S. from australia SEPTEMBER 17, 2009
i think that shaq did a good thing

Poopay M. from Bakersfield, CA MAY 21, 2009
Shaq says that its not all fun and games things are gonna get hard along the way and its not all going to be funny and fun it might be really difficult and hard so take things seriously.

Jose P. from Jefferson City MAY 13, 2009

George A. from Bamenda, Southern Cameroons, West Africa DECEMBER 27, 2008
What a reliable and gigantic lesson on achieving promises. It is one thing to make promises and another to keep them. Shaq's achievements have not only emphasized the importance of perseverance but has made a winning case for prioritizing our promises as well as our goals and objectives in life. Thank you Shaq ever so dearly for staying the course. Others like me are inspired by the strength of your mind. Bless you.

AnnMarie D from Voorhees OCTOBER 20, 2008
This really helped in a positive way to help understand many things that I should do in my life.

chairul aslam from jakarta, indonesia DECEMBER 11, 2007
It shows that money is not everything. It can buy amusements but it cannot buy happiness. Shaq, you are really inspiring.

Christian B from Richmond, VA JULY 26, 2007
Shaq also displays honor, in keeping his promises, and doing the right thing, in spite of game night. It reminds me of a few promises I need to keep...

K-Dog from New Orleans, LA JULY 11, 2007
Can't stand LSU, but Shaq is the definition of Role Model. Viva la Shaq!

Letty L from Mexico JUNE 6, 2007
that's why we have to make an effort, because we can all be good people

Anonymous MAY 3, 2007
This shows that you should persevere to be something more than you already are.

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