Shaquille O’Neal is known for his generosity and business-like mind, so it’s no surprise that he paid for some of his friends to get their master’s degrees. In a recent interview with the “Be Better Off Show,” the NBA legend shared his early experiences making business deals and why he decided to continue his education on more than one occasion.
O’Neal Paid For His Friends To Get Their Master’s Degrees With Him
O’Neal, 50, explained what made him want to get his master’s degree many years ago. “I got my Bachelor’s in 2000, but I noticed that every time I go to a business meeting, the guys who were doing deals will be like, ‘Hello Shaq, how are you doing?’ And then they would turn away and look at my lawyers and accountant and all those guys,” he shared. “I said, ‘Oh you guys don’t think I’m in charge?’ You guys don’t think I understand the lingo. So, I went and got my master’s from the University of Phoenix.”
He went on to explain that the University of Phoenix is a mostly online program, but he wanted to be taught in an in-person class. “I went to the head officials and said, ‘I don’t want to do it online. I want somebody to teach me in a class,'” he explained. “And they came back and said, ‘Unfortunately, we can’t set up a classroom for one guy. You need 15 people. So I paid for 15 of my friends to get their master’s.”
O’Neal Got His PhD Because His Mom Reminded Him There Are No Doctors In The Family
O’Neal didn’t stop his education there. He continued and got a PhD in education. The NBA legend explained that after he got his master’s degree, his mother approached him and told him how proud her and his father are of proud of him. She then added, “And, you know, we don’t have any doctors in the family.” O’Neal’s response, “Oh, here we go again,” and went back to school to earn his PhD. He explained that he did it more for the title and to show the younger generation that, “when I say get an education, this is what I mean. I like to show examples. A lot of people can tell you what to do. But I like to show and tell you what to do.”
O’Neal Has Had Many Business Ventures
O’Neal has made great use of all his degrees and proven he’s a savvy businessman with his various business ventures. He currently owns several Big Chicken restaurants in Las Vegas, with the franchise expanding to several other states. He has also bought and sold more than 150 Five Guys Burger restaurants and has bought into other franchises as well, such as Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Papa John’s, and Krispy Kreme. It’s also been reported that he has owned many 24-Hour Fitness gyms, more than 150 car washes, several nightclubs in Las Vegas, shopping centers, a movie theater, JC Penney, and Forever 21. He owns more than 50 different brands, and his net worth is reportedly $400 million and growing.