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ONeal Shaquille 1972- American basketball player considered one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association NBA history A dominating post player center the 7-ft 1-in ONeal led the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive NBA titles in the late 1990s and early 2000s Shaq as he is often called was born in Newark New Jersey He attended high school in San Antonio Texas where he led the school team to the state championship ONeal then entered Louisiana State University LSU in 1989 He quickly became a dominating player in college basketball and he averaged 216 points and 135 rebounds per game over three seasons In his last year at LSU he led the nation in blocked shots and was second in rebounding In 1992 ONeal entered the NBA draft and was the first player chosen He was selected by the Orlando Magic then a recent expansion team Although his inexperience was evident in his first professional year ONeals high level of play made him a nearly unanimous choice as rookie of the year for the 1992-93 season That year he led the leagues rookies in points 234 rebounds 139 and blocked shots 353 per game and he was second overall in rebounds and eighth overall in scoring During the 1993-94 season ONeals play continued to improve He led the NBA in field-goal percentage 599 and finished second in points 293 and rebounds 132 per game In 1994 he was also a member of the United States national basketball team known as Dream Team II which won the gold medal at the world basketball championships in Toronto Ontario Canada In the 1994-95 season ONeal led the Magic to the NBA Finals where they lost to the Houston Rockets ONeals success continued the following year when he was selected as an All-Star for the fourth consecutive season After the NBA season he won a gold medal as part of the US national
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