15-time NBA all-star and member of four championship teams, Shaquille O'Neal, is receiving an education doctorate degree from Barry University. This is 20 years after his first NBA draft as a junior at Louisiana State University in 1992, where he later took correspondence courses to earn a bachelor's degree.
Even as he became successful in his basketball career, he worked hard to get an even higher achievement, a doctorate in education. Why? Because O'Neal believes ‘Education Matters.’
He said education “instills self-discipline. It exposes a person to a world of shared knowledge. It forces us to stay attuned to current events. And most important, it helps each of us understand how and where we fit into this world.”
O’Neal said he was as proud to have achieved the doctoral degree in ‘Organizational Learning and Leadership, with a specialization in Human Resource Development,’ ‘as anything he had accomplished in his life.
In his column in USATODAY, O’Neal advised parents to encourage their children pursue higher education saying: “For you parents out there: Don't just encourage your children to complete high school, which should be a basic step toward a much bigger education. I was fortunate to have a mother who understood the value of education, even as she saw me join the NBA and have a successful basketball career. My mom knew that education not only would help me down the road, it also would make me a better person.”
He said his doctoral project was titled "How Leaders Utilize Humor or Seriousness in Leadership Styles” because he also believed in the ‘power of humor’ particularly in stressful situation, but it was no laughing matter, “If there's one thing I hope people take from this personal milestone, it's that education matters for your entire life… A degree, whether high school or doctoral, is not a finish line; it's simply a mile-marker. My learning will continue. I want others to come along for the ride.”