Shaquille O'Neal surprises man by paying off his engagement ring

Shaquille O'Neal
Posted at 11:16 AM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 12:18:24-04

ATLANTA, Georgia — He was known as "The Big Aristotle" during his Hall of Fame basketball playing career.

It turns out that retired basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal has an even bigger heart since he left the game.

O'Neal surprised a young man visiting a jewelry store in Georgia by paying for his engagement ring.

O'Neal said he was visiting the jewelry store looking for earrings when the young man came into the store.

"I went in there to get some earrings, and I see the guy come in -- he was just so shy -- and he was saying, 'Hey, how much do I owe to pay off my ring?' And I was like, 'My man, how much is the ring?' And, I'm not going to say the amount, but this is something I do every day ... I'm in to making people happy, so whenever I leave the house, I just try to do a good deed," O'Neal said Tuesday during TNT's coverage of the NBA.

O'Neal said the young man was talking about layaway options to pay for his ring.

"I didn't mean for it to get out because I don't do it for that, but the guy just came in, he was a young kid, hardworking guy," O'Neal said. "At first he didn't want to take it -- 'Nah, I can't do it' -- I said, 'Don't worry about it, I do it all the time.' I'm just trying to make people smile, that's all."

O'Neal graduated from Cole High School in San Antonio and LSU. He played 19 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 2011