Shaq statue to be unveiled Thursday

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - 5:30pm

BATON ROUGE, LA -- National college and NBA MVP Shaquille O’Neal will unveil the statue that shows his well-known college dunking style Thursday night in a ceremony scheduled to begin at approximately 6 p.m. in front of the LSU Practice Facility which is located on the North end of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The public is invited for the ceremony that should last about 25 minutes. There will be VIP receptions before and after the unveiling in the practice facility which are invitation only events.

The ceremony, and subsequent press conference with O’Neal, will be broadcast live on LSUsports.net beginning at just before 6 p.m.

The 900-pound bronze statue is a life-size representation of a young “Shaq” dunking in his LSU basketball uniform. The covered statue is in place on its pedestal at the practice facility with security standing watch until Thursday night’s ceremony.

The “iconic” O’Neal” retired from the NBA after the 2011 season, spent with the Boston Celtics. He also played for the Orlando Magic (which drafted him No. 1 in 1992), the Los Angeles Lakers (where he won three championships), the Miami Heat (where he was also an NBA champ), the Phoenix Suns and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He retired ranking fifth all-time in points scored in the NBA and fourth in postseason points scored. He is also the only LSU student-athlete in any major sport to win a national player of the year award in college and an MVP award in the pros.

At LSU, O’Neal remains second all-time in rebounds with 1,217, 13.5 rebounds a game, and fifth all-time in scoring at 1,941 points, a 21.6 points per game average. He was the 1991 Associated Press Rupp Award winner as player of the year and the 1991 World Amateur Athlete of the Year. He was an Olympic Gold Medalist in 1996 and a member of the NBA 50-Year Top 50 announced in 1997.

He was the fourth LSU player to have his number retired in 2000, one day after receiving his diploma in graduation ceremonies on the LSU campus. He named as one of 16 members of LSU’s all-century team in 2009.

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