Shaquille O’Neal meets children at Henry County Boys and Girls Club

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 6:17 PM EDT
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HENRY COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) - The kids at the Shaquille O’Neal Boys and Girls Club of Henry County are on their A-game, ready to show off their talents to a man they’ve admired through a TV screen, and on Wednesday, he was right in front of their eyes.

”This is a great opportunity. A lot of guys have never been outside of the area where they live. To get this exposure. To see someone who looks like them,” said basketball Coach Maurice Love Jr.

This building is named after Shaquille O’Neal.

”I am here. I do a lot of things in the community and I realized they didn’t have a place where they can go. I saw this building was abandoned and I was like, ‘We can use this facility for the Boys and Girls Club,” said Shaq.

He donated a million dollars to the facility and Wednesday was the first time he has been able to stop by to see how the money was spent and meet the kids.

”The Boys and Girls Club kept me out of trouble,” said Shaq.

”The families face poverty and homelessness. A large percent of our families need assistance,” said Jesse Coltrane with Shaquille O’Neal Boys and Girls Club of Henry County.

The Boys and Girls Club of Henry County has been fighting for kids and their families since it opened its doors.

”With our community partners, we try and help with utilities, rent, housing, even food, job placement as well, even GED courses,” said Coltrane.

This is a safe space for all the little dreamers out there.

The adults by their side remind them that the no’s don’t matter, the path ahead can be cleared, and they aren’t in this alone.

”We don’t muffle their voice. Everything that they say, we hear. It makes an impact on their lives,” said Coltrane.