Shaquille O’Neal participated in three USA Basketball events during his career and won three gold medals.
Shaquille O’Neal (front row, second from left) first played for USA Basketball at 18 years old as a member of the gold-medal winning South Team at the 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival. Against the West Team on the first day on July 7, 1990, he scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked 10 shots and is believed to be the first men’s basketball athlete to record a triple-double at a U.S. Olympic Festival.
At the 1994 FIBA World Cup in Toronto, Canada, Shaquille O’Neal helped the USA defeat eight-straight opponents by an average of 37.7 points per game on the way to the gold medal.
With Shaquille O’Neal on the roster, the USA’s gold medal at the 1994 FIBA World Cup was just the third time the USA had stood atop the podium at the event, and it was the first World Cup that had featured NBA players.
In the USA’s second game against China at the 1994 FIBA World Cup, Shaquille O’Neal led the USA with 22 points in 18 minutes.
Shaquille O’Neal also led the USA in the USA’s third game of the 1994 FIBA World Cup, recording 27 points and 11 rebounds in 22 minutes against Brazil.
Against Puerto Rico in the 1994 FIBA World Cup, Shaquille O’Neal led the USA with 29 points, which ranks tied for the 10th most points scored by an American in event history.
Capping the 1994 FIBA World Cup quarterfinal round, Shaquille O’Neal paced the USA scorers with 21 points against Russia.
In a rematch versus Russia in the gold medal game at the 1994 FIBA World Cup, Shaquille O’Neal recorded 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Averaging team highs of 18.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots in a little more than 17.0 minutes per game, Shaquille O’Neal was named MVP of the 1994 FIBA World Cup.
In the USA men’s FIBA World Cup single-competition record book, Shaquille O’Neal lists first for field goal percentage (.713, 62-87 FGs), fourth for rebounds (68, 8.5 rpg.), fourth for field goals made (62) and tied for fourth in blocked shots (15, 1.9 bpg.).
In the USA men’s FIBA World Cup career record book, Shaquille O’Neal lists first for field goal percentage (.713, 62-87 FGs in 1994), fifth for rebounds (68, 8.5 rpg. In 1994) and tied for fifth in blocked shots (15, 1.9 bpg. in 1994).
Shaquille O'Neal was the 1994 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.
Shaquille O’Neal became an Olympic gold medalist in 1996 in Atlanta, helping the USA to an 8-0 record and the gold medal. He is pictured here alongside David Robinson (left) and members of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team, dubbed “The Magnificent Seven,” including (from left to right) Amy Chow, Jaycie Phelps, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Kerri Strug and Amanda Borden.
Shaquille O’Neal started in three of the USA’s eight wins at the 1996 Olympic Games and averaged 9.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.
The 1996 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team featured three players who were at least 7-feet – (from left to right) 7-foot-1 David Robinson, 7-foot Hakeem Olajuwon and 7-foot-1 Shaquille O’Neal.
Shaquille O’Neal tallied 11 points and 11 rebounds against Brazil in the quarterfinals at the 1996 Olympics.
Attracting 258,106 spectators during the USA's eight games, Shaquille O’Neal and his U.S. teammates averaged 32,263 fans per game during the 1996 Olympics.
In the USA men’s Olympic record book, Shaquille O’Neal is ninth for career blocked shots with eight in 1996 (1.0 bpg.).
Photo Vault: Shaquille O'Neal
Gallery: USA AmeriCup Team 74, Uruguay 66