A former NBA star gave a group of children in Florida a pick-up game to remember after being inspired by a police officer’s viral video.
Three-time NBA Finals MVP Shaquille O’Neal noticed a video by Gainesville police officer Bobby White who was incredulous after people complained about children playing basketball in the street.
The dashcam video, posted on the Gainesville Police Department Facebook page, has been viewed more than 15 million times.
In it, Officer White – dubbed “The Basketball Cop” – says: “Can you believe someone is calling to complain about kids playing basketball in the street?
“I obviously don’t have a problem with it.”
HERE IS THE FIRST VIDEO OF THE INCIDENT:
O’Neal went to the police station on Saturday to surprise Officer White and offered to back him up in a rematch.
As they arrived at the neighbourhood where the boys had been playing, Officer White then surprises them by saying: “I told you I was going to bring in some backup, right?”
The 7ft 1ins former Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers centre then steps out of a vehicle to the amazement of the children.
Police officers then took on the children in a pickup game, before O’Neal gave the kids a chance to win $100 each if they could make a free throw.
“I’ll tell you a secret that will change your life,” he said.
“You know how much money I made? $700m. You know how I made that? Respecting my peers, listening to my mama and daddy and focusing on school.”
In January 2015, O’Neal was sworn in as a reserve police officer in South Florida. He has previously held the same position in Miami Beach and Golden Beach, Florida, as well as in Tempe, Arizona, and the Port of Los Angeles.