‘Shaq-a-Claus’ delivers gifts to Henry County students

01-22-2021 Henry County Sheriff's Office introduced Shaquille O'Neal as the new Director of Community Relations today. (Tyson Horne/tyson.Horne@ajc.com)

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal hosted a holiday extravaganza on Monday, complete with delicious barbecue, haircuts, clothes, games, dancing and gifts for more than 500 students.

Now in its 20th year, the Shaq-a-Claus event took place at Wesley Lakes Elementary School in Henry County. The goal of the event was to provide toys, clothing, meals and other necessities to underserved children.

Shaq said he started the annual holiday bash in 1992 when his mom, the originator of Shaq-a-Claus, visited a local Boys & Girls Club and asked her son for some help, TMZ reported.

Shaq told the tabloid that he then “went to the nearest Toys “R” Us and bought out the store”.

“This is all about making the kids happy,” Shaq told TMZ. “But, more importantly, it’s all about making my mother happy...for her to see her baby boy doing good things like she taught him to do, that right there is one of the best feelings.”

“Today is a special day,” he added. “I saw a lot of happy kids.”