Shaquille O’Neal has announced that he will be traveling to Cuba this summer to focus on helping Cuban youth develop their athletic and self confidence skills. This program will take place in June as a part of a sports envoy program, and the White House even announced recently that this is the first time that the U.S. Embassy in Cuba will partner up with the Cuban Ministry of Sports for hosting such an event. In addition to Shaq, American ballet dancer Misty Copeland will be joining him in Havana to conduct master classes, speaking engagements, and host dance clinics for developing an athletic program for female youth in Cuba.
O’Neal is from Newark, New Jersey and was an immediate sensation for his basketball team during his high school years. After graduating from Robert G. Cole High School, O’Neal attended Louisiana State University where he studied business as well as play for their basketball team. He entered the 1992 NBA Draft where he was selected as the 1st overall pick by the Orlando Magic, with home he stayed with for four years before going to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. By his retirement in 2011, he had also played for the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics.
Copeland is from Kansas City, Missouri but was raised in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles. In 2015 she became the first African American woman to be promoted to “principal dancer” at the American Ballet Theatre, which is one of the three best classical ballet companies in the United States. She was always considered a dance prodigy and has some several awards during her career as a dancer, and has also appeared on reality television shows such as “A Day in the Life” and “So You Think You Can Dance”.
O’Neal and Copeland will be venturing to Cuba this summer to help the local youth learn and get excited about basketball and dance. This is the first time that the U.S. Embassy has worked with the Cuban government on such a mission, so hopefully this is something that can continue over time.
If your company is interested in finding out availability and booking fees for a former basketball player like Shaquille O’Neal, a professional dancer like Misty Copeland, or other sports celebrities for a Keynote Speech, Autograph Signing, Fundraiser, or Sports Camp, call us at 1-888-246-7141.
Watch Shaq Speaking at CES Technology Conference: