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Shaqtue Unveiled in Front of the PMAC

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The event starts at about the 8:30 mark of the video

 

Shaq had a press conference after the ceremony (I'm looking for the video) here are some of his remarks

 

WINNING ALL THE AWARDS, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU...
"I don't think there is anything comparable because Coach Johnson set me up. They sent me little sculptures of what it would look like so I thought it was one of those little things. When that curtain came down it was like wow. They really did a good job. I'm honored and humbled. There are a lot of great players that came through this university - greater than me.  Pistol Pete. Bob Pettit. Stanley Roberts, guys like that. So I'm just honored that they chose me to build a statue of. I had no idea it was that big because Coach Johnson sent me the email pictures and I thought it was going to be some little thing. I think it's beautiful. It's fabulous."

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT THROUGH SCHOOL AND LOOKING TO ADVANCE...
"Follow your dreams. We all have the same goals and aspirations. We all get here some type of way whether its scholarship or our parents pay for college. The great thing about Baton Rouge is that the people here are so friendly. The campus is so lively and the night life is so great.  Everyone is just together. Baton Rouge is one of the best cities in the world. Like me mom said earlier, I had people who were like my extended family ... Besides my parents who raised me well, it is the people of Louisiana who really made me."

GREAT AMBASSADOR FOR LSU...
"I just had so much fun here. A lot of people don't know this but when I had to call Coach Brown and tell him I didn't think I wanted to come back (after his junior season) that was one of the hardest days of my life because if I leave Coach Brown there will be no more Tiger Town, no more Sports on Thursday, no more football games, no more tailgating, no more crawfish. There would be no more fun. Now I've got to go to work.  I really got to take this accounting class I fooled around in and go to work. That was a very, very difficult phone call. That was a very difficult decision. I promised my mom I would come back and finish my degree and I did seven years later. I went to summer school each year and I always try to make one football game each year and I'll be there Saturday night."

DO YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU WERE WHEN YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT THE STATUE...
"Trent Johnson, Coach Johnson, he's doing a fabulous job of bringing us all back together. That means everyone that has ever played here at LSU. A couple of years ago he did an anniversary (100th anniversary of the first game), I couldn't make it, but all the guys were here. They sent me emails, they sent me pictures. Me and Coach Johnson have become good friends and he told me he wanted to do it and I told him stop playing. He sent me emails and I realized he was really serious. I really didn't realize it was going to be that big. So I want to thank Coach Trent Johnson. I really appreciate you very much."

WHAT DID IT MEAN TO SEE ALL THE FORMER PLAYER UP THERE WITH YOU TODAY...
"It was great. I haven't seen those guys in a while. It brought back old memories. I would like to talk to Coach Brown and Coach Johnson and Mr. Mallet and maybe we could do something every year. Maybe a charity game or something ... I'm in. It brought back old memories of getting ready to go play a game, going through the tunnel...It was great seeing those guys."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS PRACTICE FACILITY...
"I saw it last year and I'm actually jealous. I had to beg the security guards to let me in to the (old) downstairs practice facility which at the time they call the dungeon. Chris (Jackson) and Stan (Roberts) would be down there and I'd actually have to fistfight with them to get a goal. I'm quite jealous. I spoke to the team last year and I said listen you got everything you want here. I didn't have any of this and I made it. You've got computers and internet and practice facility and study hall. My message to them was take advantage of all this stuff. I've been a lot of places but LSU will always remain a top university. We always produce the top athletes."

FAVORITE MEMORY OF PLAYING BASKETBALL AT LSU ...
"My favorite memory is coming out of the tunnel and hearing those horns. Looking up and seeing the whole city behind us win or lose. The only thing I regret is not being able to give LSU a national championship because Baton Rouge has given me so much.

FUTURE PLANS NOW THAT YOU ARE RETIRED ...
"I'll always come back every first football game. A lot of people don't know this but hopefully I will graduate in December and become Dr. O'Neal.  I've been working on that the last four years. I didn't want to let a lot of people know until I actually became a doctor. I'm working on my dissertation now and hopefully I'll be Doctor O'Neal. Unfortunately, I will no longer answer to "Shaq."  You will have to call me Dr. O'Neal."