Friday , Sep , 07 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Shaquille O’Neal Finds Time To Give Back Despite Divorce Drama

It’s great to see New Orleans rally behind their Saints. And it’s great to see athletes like Shaq, Stephon Marbury, Kevin Garnett, and countless others give their time and money to the reconstruction effort …

The Associated Press reports on helping to rebuild a Louisiana playground destroyed in Hurricane Katrina:

In addition to replacing the gravel, restoring nets on the basketball goals, and striping the court, the project will add security fencing at the playground. Future projects for the 240-student school will include painting the library and adding dry erase boards to the classrooms, Principal Cherryl Matthews said. "The old goals didn’t have nets, and it was hard to shoot," fifth-grader Dexter Simpson said. O’Neal also signed basketballs that the school will give children who maintain the highest grade-point averages this year. "Listen to your parents and your teachers. Follow your dreams, and you can do anything you want," O’Neal said.

My Quick Take: I have a confession. I’m watching the NFL. Saints versus Colts, Thursday night football. Two years have passed since Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans.

As powerful as the Hurricane was, the post-Katrina images of the Superdome and New Orleans are what people remember. The chaos that followed was tragic and shocking.

It’s great to see New Orleans rally behind their Saints. And it’s great to see athletes like Shaq, Stephon Marbury, Kevin Garnett, and countless others give their time and money to the reconstruction effort.

There is much more work to be done. And Shaq deserves some credit for honoring his commitment to the Louisiana playground. The big fella recently filed for divorced and tabloids have been doing serious speculating on what led to the split. Shaq could have easily stayed home and blown off the appearance. However, he recognized the bigger picture and turned up anyway. Good work Diesel.

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