NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has played for six franchises during his legendary NBA career that spanned 20 years. O’ Neal who is a serial entrepreneur, and TV analyst had a very unorthodox upbringing. His family changed locations frequently because of his father, Philip Harrison, who was a military man, and naturally, the job required him to switch posts every couple of years. It has come to light how he was struck out from the high school team
Shaquille O’Neal was excluded from the high school team
In 1984 the family came to Wildflecken, Germany, home to a US military base, where they spent the next couple of years before returning to the United States. Soon after arriving in Germany, Shaq had the luck of meeting LSU coach Dale Brown as he shares in his book, Shaq Uncut: My Story.
“So one day the officers on the base are all excited because this basketball coach from Louisiana State University was coming to put on a clinic. His name was Dale Brown and I had never heard of him, but I liked him right away.”
After the clinic, Shaq went up to coach Brown and asked if he had any jumping drills for him. Shaq explained he was clumsy and had a terrible vertical jump. Coach Brown offered to help:
“He said, “I’ll tell you what I’ll do, soldier. When I get back to Baton Rouge I’ll send you a weight-training program. How many years have you been in the service?” ‘I answered, “I’m not in the service. I’m only thirteen years old.” Dale Brown’s eyes opened real wide when he heard that. He said, “Well, son, I’d like to meet your parents.”
Soon after the clinic, Shaq was ready to start high school, and that’s when the first roadblock in this glorious basketball career occurred.
“I tried out for the high school basketball team on the base in Germany. I got cut. At the time I was probably six foot eight, but they didn’t care. There was another guy named Dwayne Clark who was also about my size, and he was better than me. He could dunk, hit fadeaways, dribble. He was an upperclassman and he used to laugh at me. He’d do simple stuff like throw me an upfake, wait for me to jump, then go around me like I wasn’t even there. That guy abused me.”