MIAMI SHORES (CBSMiami) – Pretty soon, you’ll be able to call former Miami Heat player Shaquille O’Neal “Dr. O’Neal.” The retired NBA superstar will graduate Saturday with a doctoral degree in education from Barry University in Miami Shores.

He’ll join more than 1,100 students at commencement ceremonies at the James L. Knight Center in Miami.

Shaq has been taking classes for the past 4 ½ years. He took 16 courses, completed 54 credit hours and carried a grade point average of 3.81, according to the university. His degree is in Organizational Learning and Leadership, with a specialization in human resource development.

O’Neal left Louisiana State University after three years to join the NBA in 1992, but eight years later fulfilled a promise to his mother by completing his bachelor’s degree in general studies. In 2005, he received a master’s of business administration through the University of Phoenix online degree program.

O’Neal won four NBA Championships — one with the Heat in 2006. He is a 15-time All-Star, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and 2000 NBA MVP. He is a television analyst with TNT. He has recorded rap albums, appeared in films, and dabbled in law enforcement as a reserve officer in Miami Beach and Los Angeles.

In a university released, Shaq stated, “This is for my mother, who always stressed the importance of education. I am proud to have achieved a doctoral degree and wish to thank my professors and Barry University for helping make this dream a reality. I’m smart enough to know that, even at my tender age, my pursuit of education is never finished.”



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