National college and NBA most valuable player Shaquille O’Neal will unveil the statue that shows his well-known college dunking style Thursday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
A ceremony is scheduled to begin at about 6 p.m. in front of the arena’s practice facility that is located on the north end of the PMAC.
The public is invited for the ceremony that is expected to last about 25 minutes. There will be invitation-only receptions before and after the unveiling.
The event will be shown live on LSUsports.net.
The 900-pound bronze statue is a life-size representation of a young O’Neal dunking in his LSU basketball uniform. The covered statue is in place on its pedestal at the practice facility with security standing watch until Thursday night’s ceremony.
O’Neal retired from the NBA after spending the 2011 season with the Boston Celtics. During his career, he also played for the Orlando Magic (who drafted him No. 1 in 1992), the Los Angeles Lakers (where he won three championships), the Miami Heat (where he was also an NBA champion), the Phoenix Suns and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He retired ranking fifth all-time in points scored in the NBA and fourth in postseason points scored. He is also the only LSU student-athlete in any major sport to win a national player of the year award in college and an MVP award in the pros.
At LSU, O’Neal remains second all-time in rebounds with 1,217 (13.5 a game), and fifth all-time in scoring at 1,941 points (21.6 ppg). He was the 1991 Associated Press Rupp Award winner as player of the year and the 1991 World Amateur Athlete of the Year. He was an Olympic Gold Medalist in 1996 and a member of the NBA 50-Year Top 50 announced in 1997.
He was the fourth LSU player to have his number retired in 2000, one day after receiving his diploma in graduation ceremonies on the LSU campus, and is one of 16 members of LSU’s all-century team.