Shaquielle O’Neal left college early to enter the NBA draft, but promised his mum that he’d go back to school. In 2000, he got his bachelor of arts degree. But Shaq didn’t stop there:

After leading the Heat to the NBA title in 2006, O’Neal decided it was time to go back to school again and on a tip from the Heat’s foot doctor decided to enroll at Barry in Miami Shores. He spent the past 4?1/2 years — including his final two seasons in the NBA — quietly working toward his doctoral degree in organizational learning and leadership with a specialization in human resource development. He studied before and after games, and between his work on television as an analyst, often staying up to the wee hours of the morning to get work done.

The big man didn’t just get by either. O’Neal achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.813 while completing 54 credit hours comprised of 16 courses and six credit hours of self-directed research. He did most of his course work via satellite, video conferencing and The title of his doctoral capstone project was “The Duality of Humor and Seriousness in Leadership Styles.’’

“Everyone thinks this is honorary. But this is not honorary. I put in four and a half hard years staying up late at night, studying, reading, rewriting papers Dr. Kopp marked up,” O’Neal said.

Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald has the full story.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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