Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go

Job #18245

Job Posting Details

Job # 18245 Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go

Posted Date
Jan 20, 2010 @ 16:01
Respond By
Jan 25, 2010
Word Count
Age Range
Middle Aged

Job Description

SEEKING: African American Woman

BUDGET: $135/finished hour

DEADLINE: 2/12/2010

DESCRIPTION: Lucille O’Neal shares her public battles and personal struggles as a young, single mother of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.


While I have your attention” is a phrase that comes to mind
sometimes when I take a moment to think about the last
few years. My life, and for the most part the lives of my entire
family, have been in the spotlight since the day my son, Shaquille,
entered the NBA back in 1992. As far back as then, I’ve thought
off and on about telling my own story. My life has always consisted
of much more than just being the mother of a beloved sports icon
or the recipient of massive fortune and fame.
Oddly enough, throughout the years I’d always convince myself
that it wasn’t the right time. Even recently I’ve questioned whether
anyone really wanted to hear what a fifty-six-year-old New Jersey
girl had to say. Why would they care? My thinking baffled Shaquille,
who would regularly remind me of how inspiring my life’s tale could
be for the countless people out there facing the same obstacles and
setbacks in their lives that I’ve faced in mine. My son even coined
the term “mental welfare” for this book as a way of describing where
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xii Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go
I’d been emotionally at certain points in my life. Shaquille is my
oldest child, and there is a six-year age difference between him and
his next sibling. So for several years it was just the two of us trying
to make it, which gave Shaquille—more than any of my other children—
a front row seat to some of my darkest hours. Obviously, my
son knows a good story when he lives one. Still, I hesitated to share
my life in print. In hindsight, I realize that I hesitated because my
story really didn’t have all the necessary chapters until very recently.
I had to come full circle with life’s big events—like death, divorce,
and renewal—before I could not only explain to people the meaning
of my journey, but also how I’d come out on the other end and
how they could do the same.
Today, after a very long and successful career in the NBA, my
son is nearing the end of his time on the court. His retirement will
more than likely also mark the end of much of the attention and
fascination the public has had with his personal life—something I
can honestly say I’m looking forward to. But it also hit me that the
right time to lay it all out has finally arrived—the ups and downs
and ins and outs of a life forever changed by a miracle, but still in
progress—all while I have your attention.


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