Shaq To Open Children's Hospital In Baton Rouge [VIDEO]
on Jul 02, 2013 12:14 PM EDT
Preaching “LSU lifted me to greatness,” NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal is opening a free children’s clinic in his college town of Baton Rouge.
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According to the website TigerRag.com, O’Neal made his decision on the spur of the moment while he was in town for his induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
“I wasn’t supposed to announce this, but I’m going to do it anyway,” O’Neal told an overflowing crowd on hand for his induction speech. “I had a talk with the powers that be in Baton Rouge, and my plan is to build a Shaquille O’Neal children’s hospital. That’s my plan, so that right now is in the works, and hopefully it gets done.”
While O’Neal insisted the final decision to green-light the project didn’t come until he was in town and reminded of all the good times he had in Baton Rouge, he said he had been contemplating the action for more than two years now.
O’Neal, who dubbed himself Dr. O’Neal after earning his doctorate in education last year, told the crowd he plans “to build the biggest, freest hospital in the state.”
The project comes at a time when the state has stripped more than $250 million in funding for local hospitals with even more on tap.
“All sick children can come for free,” said O’Neal. “That’s my vision.”