Former LSU and NBA star Shaquille O' Neal says he wants to build a children's hospital in Baton Rouge. O' Neal made the announcement during a press conference in Natchitoches prior to his induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
“I wasn’t supposed to announce this, but I’m going to do it anyway,” Dr.
O’Neal said. “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. ”
O'Neal says he's been discussing the idea with Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rouge for the last two years.
O' Neal says he wants to build a big hospital in Baton Rouge, where sick children can receive medical care for free. Shaq says he wants to give back to Louisiana, because the Pelican State has given him so much.
“The state lifted me to greatness,” he said. “LSU lifted me to
greatness, and the people of Louisiana lifted me to greatness. After I
left college, I had so much confidence and ability because of the
character I created in the state of Louisiana.”
“Over the last several years, Our Lady of the Lake has been
working toward a goal of building a free-standing children’s hospital. We are
having ongoing discussions with Shaquille O’Neal about his support and
involvement. Shaq wanting to help kids and be part of Our Lady of the
Lake’s mission is wonderful. He is a long-time friend with a great vision for
taking care of kids in Louisiana. We share his passion for healthy children
here and everywhere and are eager to make this dream a reality. We look forward
to continuing conversations,” John Paul Funes, President/CEO of Our Lady of the