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How Tall is Shaquille O’Neal?

Shaquille O’Neal, also known as Shaq, is undeniably one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history. His imposing figure, dominant playstyle, and numerous accolades have solidified his status as a basketball legend. One question that often arises when discussing Shaq is: How tall is he? In this comprehensive article, we delve into the height of Shaquille O’Neal and explore various aspects of his personal and professional life.

Who is Shaquille O’Neal?

Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal, born on March 6, 1972, is a retired professional basketball player from the United States. Standing at an astounding 7 feet 1 inch (216 cm) tall and weighing 325 pounds (147 kg), Shaq’s physical presence on the court was unmatched. He utilized his height, strength, and skills to dominate opponents throughout his 19-season NBA career. Shaq played for several teams, including the LA Lakers, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Phoenix Suns.

Shaq’s Early Life and Education

Shaquille O’Neal was born in Newark, New Jersey, to parents Joseph Toney and Lucille O’Neal. However, due to his father’s drug issues and incarceration, his mother decided to separate from him while she was pregnant. When Shaq was two years old, his mother remarried Phillip Arthur Harrison, a US Army officer. The family moved to Wildflecken, Germany, when Shaq was 12 years old, due to his stepfather’s military transfer. After spending a few years there, they returned to the United States.

Growing up, Shaq had three siblings named Ayesha, Jamal, and Lateefah O’Neal. He attended Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas, where his prominence in sports, particularly basketball, began to shine. Shaq’s exceptional skills earned him the “Mr. Basketball of Texas” award. Upon graduating from high school, multiple universities sought to recruit him, but he ultimately chose to study a business course at Louisiana State University (LSU) on a basketball scholarship. During his time at LSU, Shaq participated in various basketball tournaments and received multiple College Player of the Year awards.

Unveiling Shaq’s True Height

Now let’s address the burning question: How tall is Shaquille O’Neal? The towering basketball star stands at an impressive height of 7 feet 1 inch (216 cm). This towering stature made him one of the most physically dominant players in NBA history. On the court, Shaq’s height allowed him to outmatch opponents and establish his presence in the game.

Shaq’s Arm Span and Vertical Jump

Shaquille O’Neal’s height is not the only physical attribute that contributed to his success on the basketball court. With his arms extended, Shaq could reach an incredible 7 feet 7 inches (approximately 231 cm). This arm span gave him a significant advantage in grabbing rebounds, blocking shots, and scoring around the basket.

Additionally, Shaq possessed impressive leaping ability. His vertical jump was recorded at 32 inches, and his vertical reach reached a staggering 12 feet 5 inches (3.78 meters) during pre-draft workouts. This exceptional vertical reach remains the highest maximum vertical reach ever recorded, further highlighting Shaq’s athletic prowess.

Shaq’s Shoe Size

Another aspect of Shaquille O’Neal’s physicality that often draws attention is his shoe size. While his actual shoe size is 20, Shaq typically wears size 22 shoes. This larger-than-life shoe size further emphasizes his massive stature on and off the basketball court.

Shaq’s Height Throughout His Life

Shaquille O’Neal’s height has been a topic of intrigue throughout his life. Even at a young age, he stood head and shoulders above his peers.
So, you might ask how tall was Shaq at 10?
According to his own account, Shaq was already 6 feet 4 inches tall at the age of 10. This impressive height meant that he was already taller than many fully grown adults, including professional basketball players such as Steph Curry, who stands at 6 feet 2 inches.

The Height of Shaq’s Loved Ones

Shaq’s towering height not only affected his basketball career but also played a significant role in his personal life. Let’s explore the heights of some important individuals in Shaq’s life:

Shaq’s Parents

While Shaquille O’Neal is renowned for his exceptional height, his parents, Joseph Toney and Lucille O’Neal, are not as tall as he is. However, considering average human height, they can still be considered tall. Shaq’s mother stands at an impressive 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm), the same height as his father.

Shaq’s Ex-Wife

Shaquille O’Neal’s ex-wife, Shaunie Nelson, is reported to be 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm) tall. The height difference between Shaq and his ex-wife is noticeable, with him towering over her in photographs and public appearances.

Shaq’s Current Girlfriend

Shaquille O’Neal is currently in a relationship with actress Annie Ilonzeh. Annie stands at 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm) tall, making her significantly shorter than Shaq. Despite the noticeable height difference, the couple seems to have found a balance in their relationship.

Shaq’s Children

Shaq’s children have also inherited his towering height, further cementing the dominance of the O’Neal family on the basketball court. Shareef O’Neal, Shaq’s son with ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal, stands at an impressive 6 feet 11 inches (2.08 m) tall. Shaqir O’Neal, his other son, is 6 feet 5 inches (2.01 m) tall.

Shaq’s daughters, Amirah and Me’arah O’Neal, also possess remarkable height. Amirah, who is 21 years old, stands at 6 feet 1 inch (1.88 m), while Me’arah, who is only 17 years old, already measures 6 feet 4 inches (1.92 m) in height.


In conclusion, Shaquille O’Neal’s height has always been a topic of fascination and admiration. Standing at 7 feet 1 inch (216 cm) tall, Shaq’s towering stature contributed to his dominance on the basketball court. His arm span, vertical jump, and larger-than-life shoe size further highlighted his physical attributes. Shaq’s family members, including his parents, ex-wife, current girlfriend, and children, also experienced the impact of his extraordinary height. As one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history, Shaq’s height will forever remain a part of his legacy.

So, the next time you watch a basketball game or see a photo of Shaq, remember the incredible height that made him a true legend of the sport.

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