DALLAS — Towering over a sea of cell phones, Shaquille O'Neal is always the center of attention.
On Wednesday, the 7-foot-1 NBA legend captured a Dallas hotel ballroom full of adults and children.
"I'm actually looking for a house [in North Texas] so I'm here a lot," O'Neal revealed.
Shaq's gravitational force was in full effect as a special guest for the Destiny Award Luncheon, an annual fundraiser to support the St. Philip's School and Community Center in Dallas.
St. Philip's provides a private school education for children (pre-K through seventh grade) from diverse economic background.
"My favorite part of St. Philip's is everybody is so joyful and caring and considerate," said Eden Murrell, a student at St. Philip's.
Joining Shaq on stage at the luncheon was fellow NBA champion Avery Johnson.
"For kids who are underserved or minority kids, they need to see some living examples of what success looks like," said Johnson, a former Dallas Mavericks head coach and player. "They need to see it on a basketball court and they need to see in the business world and on different platforms."
Shaq credited his mother, Dr. Lucille O'Neal, as his hero and the driving force behind his philanthropic involvement in communities around the country.
"My mission is to try and make as many people happy as possible," O'Neal admitted.
Upon arrival, O'Neal posed for photos as the kids played basketball on a mini-hoop. True to form, Shaq snuck a block in there.
On stage during the luncheon, Shaq answered students' questions and asked them some of his own.
Of course, we had to get his thoughts on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks.
"Look, he's a great player," Shaq began. "He's one of my favorite players... He's going to get great honors and accolades, but at some point, Dallas, Texas is going to be expecting him to win."
There was also a surprise.
Shaq never got his McDonald's All-American jacket when he received the honor more than 30 years ago.
During the luncheon, they presented Shaq with his long-awaited, correctly-fitted jacket.
Still true to form, he quipped, "I'll trade this jacket for a lifetime supply of Big Macs."
As the crowd howled, a huge smile spread across his face.
A larger-than-life person with a larger-than-life personality paired with a larger-than-life heart.