Atlanta Buzz

Atlanta people and places

Shaq sings Christmas carols, spreads holiday cheer

NBA great and Atlanta resident Shaquille O'Neal spread holiday joy to a group of around 200 children at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta- Bellwood Unit on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in Atlanta this week.

Eric Paige is thrilled with his "Shaqmas" present! Photos: Jennifer Brett

Shaq said his philanthropic spirit comes from his mom. Where his singing voice comes from? That's anyone's guess! Check out this fun video of Shaq-a-Claus singing Christmas carols and spreading holiday cheer!

Before everyone got toys, Shaq delivered a different sort of Christmas gift: a few rules for living that he said got him by when he was a Boys & Girls Club member growing up.

"Listen to your counselors, listen to your teachers, listen to your parents," he said."Trust me, that stuff works."

Eric Paige looked sharp for the event!

Kids also got winter coats, food to take home and other essentials. Sponsors including JAKKS Cares, the philanthropic division of leading U.S. toymaker JAKKS Pacific, Inc.; Feed The ChildrenQuiznos and The Cartoon Network all participated in the fun event.

More than 200 kids got toys.

Shaq, who lives in Atlanta now, had the kids repeat a pledge: "I will listen to my mommy. I will listen to my daddy, listen to my counselors. I will be obedient, be respectful. And I will become whatever I want to be."

Tremon Palmer is all smiles!

 "Repeat after me, Shaq said: I will always follow my dreams. Nobody can stop me from fulfulling my dreams."

Daysia Gibson was excited about her new laptop!

Shaq's final words of wisdom: "Be leaders, not followers." By that he meant, if a friend wants to talk you into participating in some foolishness, say no and stay out of trouble.

"When I was young, those were the only three rules I followed and I’m here today," he said.

There were 200 little kids at the event, and one big kid!

Now that you're in the holiday mood, see our fun holiday guide, holiday shopping guide and our recap of top stories this year!

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 At least 11 dead in duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson,
  2. 2 16 arrested in massive marijuana bust in Gwinnett
  3. 3 Bishop Eddie Long accusers to detail pastor's sex abuse in book

About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for

More from AJC