ELIZABETH, NJ – Shaq is back, just as he promised.

It all began a month ago when Mrs. Debbie Alameda’s second grade class at Madison Monroe School 16 chose the basketball superstar to study as a famous African-American during Black History Month.

As Mrs. Alameda explained, “Most people tend to think of Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King and rightfully so. But in our eyes, we wanted to do something different. We wanted to do someone who isn’t in history, but is making history.”

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The class went one step further by making a video, circulating it on social media, and reaching out to Shaq himself. He heard them and responded with a video of his own, promising to surprise them with a visit. Last Tuesday, March 14, he did just that.

“After Shaquille O Neal's visit, my students were still in shock,” recalled Alameda. 'They have been talking about it ever since. This is something that they will never forget. It impacted them so greatly that, I believe, they will do exactly what Mr. O' Neal told them to do: Never give up and to follow your dreams! It was the best school day ever!" 

Her students seem to agree. "It was a SHAQtastic Day and amazing,” said Meilani Perez. “I will never forget this day."  

Also, as promised, Alameda got her kiss.