NBA legend and Basketball Hall of Fame member Shaquille O’Neal has once again been tapped as a special law enforcement officer in the state of Louisiana. As reported by KATC TV3 News in Lafayette, the four-time league champion and 15-time All-Star was officially sworn in as a reserve deputy in St. Martin Parish on Wednesday.
O’Neal’s latest honorary police appointment was officially announced with a statement on the department’s Facebook page.
“While Sheriff Becket Breaux was out of the office today at an annual training, we were honored to have a very special guest at the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office. This afternoon, Mr. Shaquille O’Neal was appointed as a St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office Special Reserve Deputy,” the post read.
The post went on to express gratitude for O’Neal’s support of local law enforcement.
“Thank you for your kindness, support and encouragement you provided to the Deputies, it was very much appreciated.”
A number of commenters also offered their own thanks with heartfelt replies in the post’s comments section.
“Shaq is such a good human being! What an honor to have him visit! Congrats Deputy Shaq!” read one such reply.
Founded in 1811, St. Martin Parish is part of the Lafayette metropolitan statistical area in Southern Louisiana. Per the US Census Bureau’s July 2019 population estimate, just over 53,000 people live in the parish in a land area of just under 738 square miles.
This isn’t the first police commission for the 48-year-old O’Neal, who currently serves as a basketball analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA alongside studio host Ernie Johnson and former basketball stars Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley. He went through the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Reserve Academy during his time with the L.A. Lakers, becoming a reservist with the city’s Port Police. O’Neal served in a similar capacity in Miami Beach, Florida, following his trade to the Miami Heat.
O’Neal has had other commissions with the Lafayette Marshals Service, the Clayton County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Marshals Service.
The 7-foot-1-inch, 325-pounder was one of the elite players in the NBA during the 1990s and 2000s. Over a 19-year career with the Lakers, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, he appeared in 1,207 games and averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds and more than two blocks per contest, per Basketball-Reference.
As noted previously by The Inquisitr, O’Neal recently offered his argument for why the Los Angeles Clippers should consider trading star forward Paul George.