Shaquille O'Neal Trades Basketball for Film Camera at New York Film Academy

Former basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal is completing a course in directing at New York Film Academy’s Universal Studios LA location.

Los Angeles, CA, August 18, 2011 --( New York, New York – August 15, 2011 – New York Film Academy is about to graduate former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq) from the Filmmaking Conservatory. Shaq, who is only one of three basketball players to ever receive NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP, and Finals MVP awards in the same year, has received private instruction in directing and cinematography in addition to spending several days filming on the Universal Studios back lot along with classmates from New York Film Academy’s hands-on filmmaking programs. Staff and students alike have commented that Shaq has been incredibly humble, funny, and likable and that it has been a thrill having him study with the academy.

“Why act when you can direct, right?” Shaq exclaims in his video diary ( from the lot of his student film. In another video post, Shaq rolls off the hoof of a moving New York Film Academy production vehicle joking, “Hey Rock, I’m still at film school. Do you do your own stunts?”

In addition to his basketball career, Shaq previously released four rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum. He has appeared in numerous films and starred in his own reality shows Shaq’s Big Challenge and Shaq Vs. In addition, Shaq announced on July 14, 2011 that he would join Turner Network Television (TNT) as a color commentator for NBA basketball games. New York Film Academy is Shaq’s first formal training in film production.

New York Film Academy
Mandy Menaker