Over the holidays, retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal told entrepreneur Gary Vee about how he gave out “thousands” of PS5s and Nintendo Switch consoles to kids for Christmas this year. Shaq shared the story on Gary Vee’s Audio Experience podcast, where they also discussed Shaq’s upcoming NFT collection called “SHAQ GIVES BACK.”
The basketball legend explained his reasoning behind the huge act of holiday kindness. “15 to 20 million kids wake up on Christmas Day and [do] not receive one gift,” Shaq said. “I don’t want any kid to feel like that. As long as I’m on this Earth, I’m gonna do what I can to make sure kids get good toys.”
And Shaq definitely knows good toys. In fact, PS5s and Switch consoles are such a great gifts that we’re pretty sure most adults would be jealous. The celeb made a point of using his network to help him secure the consoles, which are in high demand.
“I called my friend from Nintendo Switch, I bought a thousand Switches. Got a thousand PS5s, went to Walmart and got bikes,” he said. Shaq added that when he went to the elementary school in Georgia to give out the Christmas gifts, “kids were crying” with joy.
While top tech executives might not be able to get ahold of the current-gen consoles, Shaq appears to have that magic. In the face of an ongoing chip and hardware shortage, it’s a Christmas miracle that Shaq was able to bring so much joy to young kids through the immersive power of gaming.
For those unfamiliar, philanthropy has been Shaq’s bread and butter since he retired from the NBA in 2011. He recently founded the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation for underserved youth, paid for a stranger’s engagement ring, and raised over $10 million for children’s school supplies.
With Shaq, giving out gaming consoles wasn’t a one-off thing. It’s one of many examples of how much the NBA star cares about helping underprivileged kids.