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Shaq visits dunking Gainesville police officer, then surprises kids with pickup game

Shaquille O’Neal paid a surprise visit to the Gainesville Police Department to play basketball with the neighborhood kids. (Video: Gainesville police department)
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A Florida police officer’s response to a noise complaint involving kids playing basketball caught some big attention this weekend. No, we’re not talking about the 13 million views that caused video of the incident to go viral. We’re talking about The Big Cactus himself.

Officer responds to noise complaints about basketball-playing kids by joining game

Shaquille O’Neal paid a surprise visit to the Gainesville Police Department on Saturday to praise Officer Bobby White, who responded to the report of kids playing basketball “loudly” in the street last Friday by approaching the teenagers and asking them, “Can you believe someone’s calling to complain about kids playing basketball in the street? Can you believe that?”

A dashcam video of the encounter showed White dribbling and shooting around with the kids. At one point the equipment-laden officer even threw down a one-handed jam — after the hoop was lowered considerably, of course.

At the end of the video, White walks back toward his squad car and says, “I’m going to try to bring some backup out here tomorrow. We’ll get a little game going.”

Little did he know his backup would include one of the greatest NBA centers of all time.

White returned to the scene Saturday, asking the kids, “I told you I was going to bring some backup, right? Look at these big boys I brought. You sure you can take them?”

That’s when O’Neal, an Isleworth, Fla., resident, popped out from the driver’s seat of an SUV, removed his pullover and said, “I’m about to bust y’all up.”

The video was pretty flattering of the rusty 7-footer, except for the time he pulled up for a fadeaway jumper, declared “Steph Curry” and barely grazed the front iron.

Saturday’s pickup game, surrounded by dozens of awestruck residents and police officers, had to be louder than the shenanigans that sparked this whole thing in the first place. But we’re guessing that cranky neighbor, presumably spectating the display from somewhere, didn’t issue any complaints this time.

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