Some of their first names are Shaquille. Some of them have first name Shaquille, middle name O’Neal. Some of them simply go by Shaq.
All of them were named after the LSU basketball legend and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Shaquille O’Neal.
And there’s a lot of them, according to Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated. You can read his full story here.
“In 1992, the year the Magic drafted O’Neal first overall, his first name ranked No. 426 among nationwide male births, according to the Social Security Administration. In 1993, the year O’Neal was Rookie of the Year, 1,784 boys were named Shaquille, for an average of five newborn Shaqs each day, and the name vaulted to No. 181. Over time O’Neal would learn about families just like the Longs. Parents shared their stories at the grocery store. Google Alerts for other Shaquilles pinged into his phone. A second generation formed,” according to Prewitt.
“‘I’d probably guess around 250,’ O’Neal says. His reaction when told the real figures: ‘Holy s—. Seriously? My God. Damn, that’s crazy.’”
Those named after Shaq include boys and girls, among whom have gone on to become rappers, aerospace engineers, clarinet players, pastors, valedictorians, and professional athletes.
“We’re always going to live in the shadow of Shaquille O’Neal,” says Shaq Thompson, Carolina Panthers linebacker. “That’s the original. That’s our inventor.”
There are a few Shaquille’s who do not like the association they have with the big man, for various reasons.
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) July 6, 2017
Some other highlights include two Shaquille’s from separate families who each have a little brother named Kobe. Shaquille Heath was annoyed by the confusion her name brought, given everyone who only knew her name mistook her for a boy. And upon realization that she wasn’t, they offered up pickup lines such as, “if you be my Shaq, I’ll be your Kobe.”
Of all of his accolades, Shaq thinks this one really puts him over the top.
“I think I’m a superstar now,” he said. “People are naming their kids after me.”