Born: March 6, 1972 (Newark, New Jersey)
High school: Cole High School (San Antonio, Texas)
Drafted by: Orlando Magic (No. 1 overall, 1992)
NBA career: 19 seasons (1992-2011)
Teams: Orlando Magic (1992-96), Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2004), Miami Heat (2004-08), Phoenix Suns (2008-09), Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-10), Boston Celtics (2010-11)
Stats: 1,207 G, 23.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, 58.2 FG%
NBA titles: 4 (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006)
Hall of Fame: Inducted in 2016
Bottom line: Shaquille O'Neal's stepfather was a career Army officer who moved the family from an Army base in Germany to San Antonio for O'Neal's final two years of high school.
At Cole High, O'Neal led his team to a 68-1 record and the state championship as a senior. An old connection led O'Neal to his college choice.
Legendary LSU head coach Dale Brown had a relationship with O'Neal's family from doing basketball camps on U.S. military bases in the summers, where he'd first connected with the future Hall of Famer.