Shaquille O’Neal has been faced with tragedy after his sister, Ayesha Harrison-Jex died only three years after being diagnosed with cancer.
Ayesha passed away Thursday in Orlando at the age of 40 years old.
She is one of three siblings for the NBA legend, as he has one other sister and a brother.
Shaq is a family man, and after learning of about his sister immediately traveled back home to Florida to be near his loved ones.
In wake of Ayesha’s death, Shaq is understandably postponing some of his obligations, including an event slated for this weekend at Miles College in Alabama.
As we reported, Shaq had teamed up with the university to launch a program that aimed at putting a Papa Johns pizza location on every HBCU campus.
He was scheduled to appear on Saturday alongside Miles College President Bobbie Knight to announce the program.
A statement from the university read:
“Due to the untimely passing of Shaquille O’Neal’s beloved sister, Ayesha Harrison-Jex. Miles College has been informed that Shaquille will not be participating in the Miles College Partners with Shaquille O’Neal & Papa John’s event this Saturday. At this time, the event will be postponed and scheduled for a later date this year.”
Miles College also issued condolences to Shaq on behalf of the university and President Bobbie Knight.
“We offer our sincere condolences to Shaquille O’ Neal and his family and we ask that you keep them in your prayers.”
"Big Fella, you hang in there."
Ernie, Kenny, Charles & Commissioner Silver's thoughts are with the O’Neal family pic.twitter.com/5yUtdhjWkZ
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 24, 2019
Shaq also did not appear on Thursday’s episode of “TNT’s Inside the NBA,” and his co-hosts filled in the audience on the loss of his sister.
Co-host Ernie Johnson sent condolences and love to Shaq and his family, and also explained that Ayesha will be laid to rest in a military cemetery and will be buried next to O’Neal’s stepfather, Sgt. Phillip Harrison.
Shaq retweeted the show and sent a message thanking them for the prayers.
“Thanks for the condolences and the love. If I had older brothers, it would be you 3. Love y’all and love you more Candice.”