Sportswriter Shaun Scott and his friends Brian Walker and Tony Walker met NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal at Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 24. Courtesy photo

Sportswriter Shaun Scott and his friends Brian Walker and Tony Walker met NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal at Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 24. Courtesy photo

A memorable Vegas trip

Sportswriter Shaun Scott meets one of the best NBA players to ever lace up sneakers.

Las Vegas always has been one of my favorite vacation destinations in the United States.

Thanksgiving weekend 2018 (Nov. 24-26), I made the trip to Vegas for my friend Brian Walker’s bachelor party. I was a groomsman in Walker’s wedding on New Years Eve 2018 in Los Angeles a few weeks ago.

We began the bachelor party celebration by renting out a basketball court at the famed Jerry Tarkanian Center. After an hour of 3-on-3 half-court hoops, we took an Uber back to our hotel (Hard Rock Hotel). Before heading up to our rooms, we decided to grab a quick dinner at Big Chicken, which is owned by NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. The eatery was a short walk away from the hotel. We didn’t expect to meet one of the best NBA players of all time during our trip.

As we were devouring our meals, Shaq just happened to walk through the front door.

We approached Shaq, informing him we were in town for a bachelor party. I asked him if he could take a picture with us. He granted our request and said, “How about a selfie?” I replied, “Shaq, we need the full-effect photo!”

After one of workers at Big Chicken used my cell phone to snap the photo, Shaq shook all of our hands. I felt like I was a little kid, meeting one of the best athletes of all time. While we finished up our food and drinks, a group of kids approached Shaq as well. Shaq was great with the kids and took time to engage with every single one of them. In years past, I have always heard stories about Shaq being one of the most accommodating public figures to the general public.

Those sentiments definitely rang true on Nov. 24 in Vegas. After meeting Shaq, I posted the picture on Facebook, Twitter and sent it out individually to a multitude of my friends via text message. It was an absolutely fantastic way to start a weekend in Vegas!

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