Tumanuvao Evile Falefatu has announced through a social media post that four-time NBA Champion, Shaquille (Shaq) O’Neal, is coming to Samoa and will take on a matai title from Leulumoega.
Tumanuvao Evile Falefatu is the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Airport Authority. He recently traveled to the US to meet with Shaq and present the 7-foot-1-inch basketball legend with a fue and tootoo as well as a ulafala and shirt.
“The gift presentation was done at his Atlanta mansion.”
Tumanuvai says, “the main purpose of his trip is to become a guest of honor for the Samoa Games 2023. At the same time, he will provide an opportunity to conduct basketball clinics but most importantly to create a pathway for our youth to play basketball in the US and pursue educational studies.”
Tumanuvao says there is potential in Samoa’s youth, “but not enough opportunity to expose them to higher levels.”
“There is a discussion going on for an exchange program for two teams from Samoa to travel to Atlanta to play basketball there in Shaq’s own gym and get tutored by the megastar,” says Tumanuvao.
“They will be coming also to visit and play against us here in our shores.”
“I thank my Heavenly Father for all his guidance and blessings upon me. I know a lot of people did not believe this, but my faith and trust to my Heavenly Father and his beloved Son Jesus Christ separates me from the rest. I know faith can bring miracles..
“As a parent, I have a son who loves to play basketball and it is my responsibility to seek an opportunity for him to enlarge his talent not only him but all the sons and daughters of Samoa..
“E leai se mea e maua ma se filemu..
“A taunuu mea uma i le alofa o Le Atua, o se meaalofa mai lo’u aiga i Leulumoega o le fai o se suafa matai mo lenei atalii o Le Atua.”
Shaq is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players and centers of all time. He 2.16 meter, 147 kg center played for six teams over his 19-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The Orlando Magic made Shaq the number one overall pick of the 1992 NBA Draft. Shaq’s impact was immediate, earning Rookie of the Year honors in 1993 and later leading the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals.
He would then become a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, where he teamed up with Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson to win three NBA championships in three years.
O’Neal was named Finals MVP in each series. Next stop was Miami, where Shaq again earned an NBA title in 2006 and a seventh consecutive spot on the All-NBA First Team.
Shaq won Olympic gold in 1996, led the NBA in scoring average twice, and somehow managed to keep his sense of childlike wonder through it all, known as much for his fun-loving attitude as his basketball ability.
O’Neal did an advertisement for the now bankrupt FTX Trading Ltd commonly known as FTX (short for “Futures Exchange”) and this week in world news, Shaq has stated publicly that he has nothing to do with the firm.
Shaquille O’Neal said he doesn’t believe in cryptocurrencies and was merely paid to endorse the now-imploded exchange.
He told CNBC’s Make It that a lot of people think he is involved, but he was just a paid spokesperson for a commercial.
The former basketball star, who’s now an angel investor and businessman, starred in an FTX commercial released on 2nd June 2022.
In the ad, O’Neal said he was excited to partner with the exchange to “make crypto accessible to everyone.”
“I’m all in. Are you?” O’Neal says in the ad.
Tumanuvao Evile has not revealed any further information on the proposed trip to Samoa by the NBA GOAT.
#moretocome – he states.