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Shaq for Sheriff! O’Neal Announces Plan to Run in 2020: ‘This Is About Bringing People Closer Together’

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Shaq for Sheriff?

Former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal has always had a soft spot for law enforcement — and now he has announced plans to run for Sheriff in 2020.

“In 2020, I plan on running for Sheriff,” he told WXIA in Atlanta. O’Neal, who has a home in Orlando, didn’t clarify whether he’d run for Sheriff in Florida or Georgia. “I haven’t made my mind up yet,” he said.

“This is not about politics,” O’Neal, 45, told the station. “This is about bringing people closer together. You know, when I was coming up, people loved and respected the police, the deputies. And, I want to be the one to bring that back, especially in the community I serve.”

While most people know O’Neal for his basketball career, he has worked very hard on his education. Although he dropped out of college to play in the NBA, he returned to finish his degree. He has a B.S. in Business Administration from Louisana State University. His MBA is from the University of Phoenix. In 2013, he earned a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Organizational Learning & Leadership.

Victor Spinelli/WireImage

So why does a multimillionaire need so many degrees?

“I had to do it,” O’Neal told PEOPLE in 2015. “One, for my children. Two, for the African-American community. Three, for the sports community. And four, for my mother.”

O’Neal also talked to PEOPLE about how role models changed his life. “I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent,” he said. “There are a lot of extracurricular activities that can lead a kid down the wrong path. But I had people in my life – my mother, my father, my grandmother – who sacrificed a lot to make me successful.”

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O’Neal has been sworn in as an honorary deputy before, but doesn’t have practical experience as a police officer. He tells the station that he’ll assemble wise counsel. “I know how to run a team,” he said. “My style is going to be to surround myself with guys who have been doing it way longer than I’ve been doing it. Surround myself with smarter people. I know it’ll be successful.”