Shaq O’Neal Demands His Kids Earn Two College Diplomas To Secure Inheritance

Shaq O’Neal Demands His Kids Earn Two College Diplomas To Secure Inheritance
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His unique approach to ensuring his children's success garnered mixed reactions.

There’s a glittering charm to being among the super-rich. Think palatial estates, luxury vehicles crowding your driveway, vacations at extravagant villas, reached on private jets. Every demand is met instantly. Every need is catered to in a heartbeat. You’d agree; this is a picture of luxury, of lives filled with incredible privileges and conveniences. Moreover, your children, too, are nurtured in this gilded environment, attending prestigious schools and provided with every conceivable advantage.

Shaquille O'Neal

However, this luxurious life presents a daunting challenge, a contradiction of plenty. For parents of immense wealth, a haunting question is echoed down the corridors of their luxury: How can they prevent their children from becoming entitled, lazy individuals who merely anticipate the release of their trust funds to squander the fortune painstakingly amassed by their parents?

This query has vexed wealthy parents for generations. Evading it takes a lot of work. A surefire way to mitigate this problem is by concealing the enormity of your wealth from your offspring. Even amidst the luxury of mansions and private jets, your children must know your hundreds of millions in worth. Instill in them the thought that they must strive and work relentlessly to maintain such a lifestyle.

However, this concealment is not viable for globally renowned individuals like retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal. Like anyone else, his children could easily access the numerous online databases that catalog the net worth of significant celebrities like Shaq himself, revealing the exact figure of his wealth.

Take, for example, O’Neal’s impressive net worth of $400 million, which, if distributed among his six children, equates to around $67 million each, assuming he does not earn another dollar. Yet, considering O’Neal’s annual income post-NBA retirement exceeds his earnings during his professional basketball career, the final inheritance could exceed $100 million per child.

shaq o'neal children

Despite his high public visibility, O’Neal has found a way to instill the value of hard work and education in his children. In an interview with 7News Australia, he disclosed a rule his children must follow to be eligible to inherit his fortune: They must earn two college degrees, saying, “In order to get my cheese, you have to present me with two degrees.”

Emphasizing his focus on generational wealth, O’Neal preferred his children to have meaningful careers rather than join the ranks of the NBA, explaining, “I’m teaching them about generational wealth right now. I tell them all the time we don’t need another NBA player in the house. If you want to play, I can help you get there. But I would rather see a doctor, a dentist, a veterinarian, a world traveler, a hedge fund guy…”

This strategy ensures his children are educated, informed, and intelligent, making them less likely to squander their fortune. Moreover, O’Neal’s candid perspective about wealth was evident during a conversation with the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast, where he stated a powerful adage he often reminds his children of: “You’re not rich. I’m rich.” This distinction underscores the importance of understanding the value of wealth and reinforces the message that they need to earn their way rather than ride the coattails of their father’s success. 

O’Neal navigates the complexities of parenthood amongst the super-rich through this simple yet effective rule, setting a precedent for others in similar positions. By leveraging the power of education, he aims to ensure his children grow into responsible adults who understand the value of wealth, thereby preventing the likelihood of them becoming entitled individuals solely dependent on inherited wealth.