O’Neal showed his excitement by lifting his professor into the air.
After leaving Louisiana State University early for the NBA, O’Neal went back to school and earned his bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree and now, a doctorate in education.
O’Neal told ABC News there are three reasons he hasn’t just kicked his feet up and lounged on an island since his retirement.
“One, I promised my parents I would[follow my passion for education]. Two, I wanted to continue my education and three, I wanted to challenge myself,” O’Neal said.
“The hardest part was getting back into high school mode. You ever have that high school teacher that says, you’ve got to read six chapters over the weekend?” stated O’Neal.
Shaq wrote his thesis on the value of humor in leadership, because he says he’s a natural leader who loves to laugh.
O”Neal reveals he wants to become a motivational speaker and plans to go to law school.
O’Neal also explained to ABC News there’s “no way” anyone is allowed to call him Shaq anymore.
“Only the children can call me Shaq, the adults have to address me as Dr. O’Neal,” he said.
“I’m proud to call you Dr. O’Neal!” said his mother.
A year into retirement, O’Neal says he doesn’t miss the game “Because I got a new walk, a doctor’s walk.”