September 22, 2017: SHAQ GIVES BACK!

Shaquille O’Neal giving back!  The basketball great goes back to his hometown of Newark and shares his passion and gratitude to the ‘Boys and Girls Clubs of America.’  It’s an intimate, thoughtful, and personal side of Shaq you don’t often get to see.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' ON MONDAY THE FIGHT TO PROTECT

> IN THE WORLD OF BASKETBALL, FEW PLAYERS HAVE BEEN MORE CELEBRATED OR MORE EXCITING TO WATCH THAN SHAQUILLE O'NEAL.

HE'S ATTRIBUTED MUCH OF HIS SUCCESS ON AND OFF THE COURT TO THE SUPPORT AND VALUES INSTILLED AT HIM AT THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB.

OVER THE YEARS SHAQ HAS BEEN AN AVID SPOKESPERSON AND FUNDRAISER FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND RECENTLY A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO THE NEW VISION AND DENTAL CENTER PROVIDING FREE CARE TO LOW-INCOME CHILDREN.

IN A CONVERSATION THAT WAS PART OF AMERICAN GRADUATE, A PROJECT MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUB BROADCASTING TO HELP COMMUNITY FIND WAYS TO KEEP STUDENTS ON THE PATH TO GRADUATION, WE RECENTLY ASKED O'NEAL WHAT IT MEANT TO HAVE A BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB WHEN HE WAS YOUNG.

THIS IS THE PLACE IT ALL STARTED.

BOTH PARENTS HAD JOBS.

COULDN'T AFFORD BABY-SITTERS.

THANKFULLY I LIVED RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET, THOSE PROJECTS RIGHT THERE.

I WAS INSTRUCTED TO, AFTER SCHOOL, COME HERE AND WAIT UNTIL ONE OF US CAN GET YOU.

A LADY BY THE NAME OF MS. BANKS, SHE'S STILL HERE, SHE'S LIKE EVERYBODY'S AUNT, EVERYBODY'S MOM, EVERYBODY'S GRAN MOM.

SHE IS THE ONE WHO MADE SURE THAT THE KIDS WENT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

HERS ARE VERY SIMPLE.

LET ME SEE YOUR HOME WORK FIRST.

EDUCATION IS VERY IMPORTANT.

SO AFTER WE SHOW HER THE HOME WORK, WE GET TO COME UP HERE AND PLAY.

THIS WAS MY SAFE HAVEN BUT ALSO A PLACE I COULD CULTIVATE MY DREAMS.

YOU LEARNED A LOT HERE ABOUT YOURSELF.

THE FIRST THING I LEARNED IS HOW TO TURN CRITICISM INTO MOTIVATION.

I WAS COMING OVER HERE, 9, 10 YEARS OLD.

BIGGER THAN EVERYBODY.

WHEN YOU'RE BIGGER THAN EVERYBODY, EVERYBODY EXPECTS YOU TO BE MICHAEL JORDAN ALREADY.

TERRIBLE.

COULDN'T DRIBBLE, COULDN'T PLAY, COULDN'T DUNK BUT I ALWAYS MAD THE DRIVE AND DETERMINATION.

IF YOU WERE NOT HERE AND THIS CLUB WERE NOT HERE, WHERE WOULD SHAQUILLE O'NEAL HAVE BEEN?

I WAS ALREADY A LOW LEVEL JUVENILE DELINQUENT WITHIN MISCHIEVOUS, GETTING INTO TROUBLE.

WHERE WOULD I BE?

I THINK ABOUT IT ALL OF THE TIME.

I HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY OF HOW TO BECOME A LEADER, NOT A FOLLOWER.

I OWE THIS BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF AMERICA.

THAT'S WHY I KEEP COMING BACK.

IF THERE WASN'T THIS PLACE, THERE WOULDN'T BE A SHAQUILLE O'NEAL OR A BRAND.

AND THERE'S MORE HERE NOW THAN WHEN YOU WERE A KID.

THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY OF THIS.

WE RAISED MONEY AND HELPED BUILD WHAT THEY HAVE IN THERE NOW.

THIS IS AWESOME.

THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

IN A LOT OF NEIGHBORHOODS THE KIDS NEVER GET TO GO TO THE DENTIST, GET THEIR EYES EXAMINED.

IN THIS CASE SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT MIGHT CROP UP LATER IN LIFE CAN BY ADDRESSED.

WHAT'S IT LIKE PUTTING A NEW PAIR OF GLASSES ON A CHILD.

IT'S BIG.

IF YOU CAN'T SEE, YOU CAN'T READ.

AND YEARS AFTER THAT IT ADDS TO ILLITERACY.

SO WE GET THEM IN THERE, GET THEM TESTED.

I TELL THEM, DON'T WORRY ABOUT I, PICK OUT A PAIR.

AND WE ASSOCIATE READING WITH COMIC BOOKS AND OTHER FUN BOOKS TO BRING UP THEIR COMPREHENSION AND THAT'S WHAT WE WANT FOR THE YOUNGSTERS.

WHEN I GOT TOGETHER WITH DR. CAR BENY AND ALL OF THE FRIENDS, SAID HEY, WE'VE GOT TO MAKE IT FREE.

IT'S WONDERFUL.

PEOPLE CALL GIVING BACK.

THIS IS WHAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO.

SUPPOSED TO DO IT BECAUSE MY MOTHER TOLD ME TO.

YOU NEED TO GO BACK AND FIX THAT PLACE UP.

GO TO NEWARK AND FIX NEWARK UP.

SEE A FAMILY WITHOUT A HOUSE, HANDLE THAT.

SOME PEOPLE MAY CALL IT GIVING BACK BUT I'M TAKING ORDERS FROM THE PERSON WHO RAISED ME, LUCILLE O'NEAL HARRIS.

AND YOU HAVE TO KEEP THAT PROMISE.

ANY MAN WHO DOESN'T KEEP A PROGRAMS TO A MAN IS NOT A REAL MAN.

ANYONE WHO DOESN'T LOVE HIS MOM IS NOT A REAL MAN.

MY MOM WORKED HARD FOR ME AND I WORK HARD FOR HER BECAUSE I APPRECIATED THAT.

THE THING ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP IS HER MOTHER TOLD HER WHEN I WAS BORN, THIS ONE IS SPECIAL.

WATCH OUT FOR THIS ONE.

THIS ONE RIGHT HERE IS GOING TO BE WORLD KNOWN.

ONE YEARS OLD, MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD MY MOTHER, THIS ONE, EVERYONE IS GOING TO KNOW THIS GUY'S NAME.

I'M BLESSED BY MY MOM, FAMILY, GOD.

I'M JUST DOING WHAT I'M TOLD.

AS I LISTEN TO YOU TELL YOUR STORY ABOUT THIS CLUB AND WHAT YOU LEARNED HERE, YOU KNEW THEM WHEN YOU WERE A KID, DESPITE THE MINOR JUVENILE DELINKCY OTHER TROUBLES YOU HAD, YOU KNEW YOU WERE SPECIAL.

I KNEW I WAS SPECIAL BUT I DIDN'T KNOW IF IT WAS GOING TO MAKE IT.

YOU HAVE 50% OF PEOPLE TELLING YOU, YOU'RE GOING TO BE THIS, ANOTHER 50 TELLING YOU'RE NOT.

AND THEN WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO DO THE ACTION AND YOU'RE NOT AS GOOD, YOU LEAN TO THE WELL, MAYBE I'M NOT GOING TO GO PRO.

MAYBE I'M NOT GOING TO GET A SCHOLARSHIP.

MY MOTHER AND FATHER TAUGHT ME NEVER TO G GIVE UP.

I COULD BE UP HERE AND DOING HOME WORK AND I COULDN'T GIVE IT RIGHT, MS. BANKS WOULDN'T GIVE ME THE ANSWERS.

SIX TIMES FIVE IS -- COME ON, BABY, USE YOUR FINGERS.

6 X 5 IS 30.

THAT'S RIGHT BABY.

GROWING UP IN NEWARK YOU CAN'T GIVE UP.

YOU CAN NEVER GIVE UP GROWING UP IN NEWARK.

I'M GLAD I WAS BORN AND RAISED HERE, AND THE VALUES I WAS TAUGHT.

IN MAKING THE CONTRIBUTIONS THAT YOU MADE HEREBY, THESE KIDS KNOW THAT SOMEBODY CARES ABOUT THEM.

I THINK THEY KNOW I CARE.

I'M TELLING THEM I'M FROM THE SAME SITUATION YOU'RE FROM.

I KNOW YOU LOOK AT ME NOW AND YOU SEE ALL OF THE TOYS.

BEFORE YOU GET TO THE TOYS YOU GOT GET TO -- YOU GOT TO START SOMEWHERE.

I'M FROM THE SAME PLACE YOU ARE.

I USED TO EAT ONCE A DAY AND I USED TO GO CHRISTMASES WITHOUT GETTING ANY PRESENTS.

I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH.

HOWEVER THIS IS THE BLUEPRINT.

I KNOW IT BECAUSE I WROTE IT.

I'M A DOCTOR.

AL YOU GOOD TO DO IS STUDY AND THIS IT'S A HELL OF A CHANCE THAT YOU CAN BECOME AS SUCCESSFUL OR MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN ME.

THAT'S IT.

SIMPLE.

BE A LEADER, NOT A FOLLOWER.

NEVER GIVE UP.

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS.

THAT'S IT.

THAT'S WHAT THEY TOLD ME WHEN I WAS YOUNG.

BE A LEADER, DON'T FOLLOW THEM.

I KNOW YOU MISSED TEN SHOTS IN A ROW, YOU'LL NEVER BE A GOOD PLAYER, NEVER GIVE UP.

DON'T TALK TO THAT MAN LIKE THAT, GO OVER THERE AND SAY YES, SIR AND NO, SIR.

THAT'S ALL I HAD.

I WASN'T A WHIZ KID.

I WASN'T THE GREATEST ATHLETE OR THE FASTEST GUY BUT THOSE PRINCIPLES MADE ME WHO I AM TODAY.

RIGHT HERE, IT'S SIMPLE.

ALL YOU GOT TO DO IS FOLLOW THIS.

YOU FOLLOW THESE, YOU CAN GET OUT.

YOU'VE HAD AN IMPORTANT MENTOR IN YOUR LIFE.

YEAH, DALE BROWN.

13 YEARS OLD, 6'9', COULDN'T DUNK OR PLAY, DALE BROWN COMES TO MY FAR'S AIR FORCE BASE IN GERMANY.

IN GERMANY?

IN GERMANY.

MY FATHER SAYS, LET'S GO LISTEN TO THIS GUY AND MAYBE YOU CAN GET A SCHOLARSHIP.

I WAS LIKE COACH, 6'9' CAN'T PLAY, CAN'T DUNK.

CAN YOU HELP ME OUT WITH SOME EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN MY LOWER EXTREMITIES.

WHEN I WAS ON PUNISHMENT, MY FATHER MADE ME READ THE DICTIONARY.

I'M THINKING BIG WORDS, TALK TO THE COLLEGE COACH AND MAYBE I CAN GET IN.

HE PUTS HIS HANDS ON ME, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE ARMY?

I SAID I'M NOT IN THE ARMY.

I'M 13.

THE THING I LIKE ABOUT DALE BROWN, HE ALWAYS SENT ME QUOTES, EXERCISES EVERY WEEK IN GERMANY.

I READ THEM AND THEN I HAD TO WRITE HIM A PAINFUL LETTER, ALL THE STUFF YOU SENT ME DIDN'T WORK.

THANKS FOR THE HELP.

I APPRECIATE YOU.

I'M GOING TO QUIT AND JOIN THE ARMY LIKE MY DAD.

LOVE YOU.

NEXT LETTER I GET, NO, I DON'T WANT YOU TO FORGET.

I WANT YOU TO FOCUS ON YOUR EDUCATION.

WHEN YOU GET WALK TO THE STATES AND GRADUATE, CALL ME.

I'LL GIVE YOU A SCHOLARSHIP.

THAT'S WHEN I WAS 13.

NOBODY KNEW WHO I WAS.

I WAS 13.

HE SAID I'LL GIVE YOU A SCHOLARSHIP.

PAPERS AND EVERYTHING, FINANCIAL AID, WE'LL TAKE CARE OF IT.

THAT'S WHY I CHOSE TO GO TO LSU.

HE SAW SOMETHING IN ME THAT I DIDN'T SEE IN MYSELF.

BY THE TIME I GOT BACK FROM GERMANY TO SAN ANTONIO, I WAS THE NUMBER BUN PLAYER IN HIGH SCHOOL AT THE TIME.

AND I SAID, YOU KNOW WHAT?

I'M GOING TO CHOOSE THIS GUY BECAUSE HE HELPED ME.

AND WHEN YOU WENT TO LSU.

HE TOOK CARE OF ME, THE SAME PRINCIPLES THAT MY PARENTS HAVE, YOU KNOW, LIKE I HEARD YOU WERE OUT WITH SOME GUYS DRINKING THE OTHER DAY.

YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THAT.

YOU KNOW TO BE A LEADER AND NOT A FOLLOWER.

YES, SIR.

NEXT TIME WE SEE THAT HAPPEN, YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THERE.

YOU KNOW YOU DON'T DRINK.

I DON'T WANT YOU AROUND THAT CROWD.

YES, SIR.

IT WAS VERY VERY TOUGH.

DIDN'T GO TO CLASS, YOU'D HAVE TO RUN 15 LAPSE IN THE MORNING BEFORE YOU WENT TO CLASS.

IT WAS VERY VERY TOUGH.

TOUGH LOVE ONLY PROPELLED ME TO GREATNESS.

YOU'RE IN RETIREMENT NOW.

YOU DON'T MISS THE GAME, DO YOU?

NEVER.

NO.

NOT AT ALL.

TELL ME WHY.

WHEN IT'S YOUR TURN, IT'S YOUR TURN.

WHEN IT'S NOT YOUR TURN, IT'S NOT YOUR TURN.

I KNEW THAT EVERY SUPERSTAR ATHLETE HAS A RELATIVELY SMALL WINDOW TO MAKE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES.

LUCKILY I CAME IN WHEN ALL OF THE OLD STARS WERE COMING OUT, IT WAS MY TURN FOR A WHILE.

GOT TEAMED UP WITH KOBE AND IT WAS OUR TURN AND WE GOT SPLIT UP, IT WAS STILL MY TURN AND OTHER GUYS CAUGHT UP.

I PLAYED 19 YEARS BUT IT WAS A STRONG 15 YEARS, IT WAS SHAQ SHAQ SHAQ SHAQ SHAQ.

IT SURE WAS.

I KNEW ONE DAY FATHER TIME WAS GOING TO SAY TIME FOR YOU TO SIT DOWN AND RELAX.

SURELY YOU EXPECTED, GIVEN THE CAREER YOU'VE HAD IN THE NBA THAT IT WOULD BE A CINCH THAT YOU WOULD BE INDUCT INTO THE HALL OF FAME.

I EXPECTED IT NOT BECAUSE I WAS A GREAT PLAYER.

I EXPECTED IT BECAUSE EVERYTHING MY MOTHER AND FATHER HAVE TAUGHT ME HAS COME TRUE.

YOU DON'T NEED TO FOLLOW HIM AND HE'S GETTING $100.

YOU GO TO SCHOOL AND GETTEN AGE OCCASION, YOU'LL HAVE 100,000.

YOU DON'T NEED TO DO THAT, YOU NEED TO DO THAT.

EVERYTHING THEY'VE TOLD ME HAS COME TRUE.

I WISH MY FATHER WAS STILL HERE SO I COULD SHARE THIS MOMENT WITH HIM.

THERE WERE SOME TIMES I DIDN'T BELIEVE IN MYSELF.

I'M GOOD BUT NOT THAT GOOD.

THAT'S MICHAEL JORDAN, HE'S -- I'LL NEVER GET TO THAT LEVEL.

AND THEN YOU GOT TO KEEP GOING.

AND THEN BOOM, MIKE IS GONE.

MY TURN, WENT ON THREE IN A ROW.

SO EVERY TIME I'VE STUCK TO MY -- I DON'T WANT TO USE THE WORD GUN.

EVERY TIME I'VE STUCK TO MY PRINCIPLES, I'VE NEVER BEEN LET DOWN.

PEOPLE COME TO NEWARK BUT NEWARK AND THEY SEE CERTAIN NEIGHBORHOODSANCE THEY SEE RISK AND WON'T MAKE THE INVESTMENT, WON'T GIVE IT THE TIME OF DAY.

WHAT DO YOU SEE THAT THEY DON'T SEE?

I SEE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, I SEE RELATIVES, I SEE PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE IT, TRYING TO SAVE IT.

LITTLE RIFFRAFFS, THAT CAN BE CONTROLLED.

BUT YOU KNOW, IT'S OUR JOB TO KEEP NEWARK BEAUTIFUL.

I'M INVESTING A LOT, BUILDING A LOT.

WE URGE ANYBODY ELSE TO COME AND BUILD IT.

YOU CAN CARE ABOUT ANY PLACE IN THE WORLD, DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO.

WHY NEWARK?

I KNOW YOU MADE THE PROMISE --

BECAUSE MY MOTHER AND FATHER CREATED A PROGRAM CALLED SHAQ AND GOT ALL OF THE PARTS FROM NEWARK.

CAN'T FIND THE PARTS ANYWHERE ELSE.

IF I WANT TO KEEP MY SHARPNESS, I'VE GOT TO COME HOME AND GET ANY PARTS REPLACED.

PERIOD.

THAT'S WHY.

THEY DON'T BUILD THIS SEXINESS ANYWHERE ELSE.

THEY BUILD IT RIGHT HERE NP NEWARK.

YOU DID SAY SEXINESS?

SEXINESS -- SEXINESS.

Funders

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