shaquille o'neal*While retired from the NBA after 19 seasons, it seems as if Shaquille O’ Neal had been playing around and living it up. But it turns out the big man had been working hard to earn his Ph.D.

The four-time champion proudly received his degree from Barry University on Saturday in Miami, Fla.

He celebrated the moment on stage by lifting his professor in the air.

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After leaving Louisiana State University to play pro ball, Shaq went back for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He’s not all play, folks.

Describing why he decided to get his education, he said, “One, I promised my parents I would[follow my passion for education]. Two, I wanted to continue my education and three, I wanted to challenge myself,” he said.
“The hardest part was getting back into high school mode. You ever have that high school teacher that says, you’ve got to read six chapters over the weekend?” he said.

As far as his last work, he wrote his thesis on the value of humor in leadership.

But he’s not stopping there. Shaq said he wants to become a motivational speaker and go to law school.

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O’Neal told ABC News there’s “no way” anyone is allowed to call him Shaq anymore.

“Only the children can call me Shaq, the adults have to address me as Dr. O’Neal,” he said. “I’m proud to call you Dr. O’Neal!” said his mother.

A year into retirement, O’Neal, er, Dr. O’Neal isn’t looking back. He says he doesn’t miss the game “Because I got a new walk, a doctor’s walk.”

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