‘Shaq-a-Claus’: NBA great Shaquille O’Neal creates Christmas for elementary students

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Shaquille O’Neal is making sure kids in Georgia are having a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday.

>> Read more trending news

O’Neal held his yearly “Shaq-a-Claus” event Monday in Henry County.

Among his stops for this year’s event was Wesley Lakes Elementary School.

O’Neal gave the kids new toys and a few high-fives, WSBTV reported.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

“I just want them to be happy. They don’t have to know I’m a basketball player,” O’Neal told WSBTV. “I’m at the point now where they can call me Uncle Shaq. I speak their language and know how school can be.”

O’Neal has been holding the event since 1997, and he credits his mother as inspiration for giving back to the community.

“The great Dr. Lucille O’Neal, who happens to be my mother, always said if I can help those in need, do it,” he told WSBTV. “For me, it’s a better feeling having her smile. Better than any commercial I’ve done. Better than any deal that I’ve done.”

O’Neal also held events across the country including, in Los Angeles, Compton and Orlando.