Retired NBA megastar Shaquille O’Neil now makes more money in endorsements than he did as a basketball player, according to Bloomberg Business. While that alone is impressive, it’s his philanthropy that really scores big. Especially in his native Newark, New Jersey.
The latest? The construction of a $68 million high-rise in downtown Newark, launched in conjunction with Project Impact Newark, a new jobs production program designed to help locals secure jobs in the construction, plumbing and carpentry trades as well as union memberships and is especially steered toward women, minorities and veterans, according to the Associated Press.
Shaq visited Newark just before Christmas to help unveil the project and says he plans to live on the top floor of the “One Riverview” high-rise once construction is completed.
“I was born and raised in Newark. In some ways I never left Newark. This project is a symbol of my love of the city that shaped who I am today,” he said in a related press conference.
The gentle and generous 7-foot-one giant’s previous tokens of generosity to his hometown include launching a children’s book, co-hosting a downtown basketball tournament with Mayor Baraka, and helping to fund the city’s first new movie theater in decades.
Way to give back, Shaq.