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Teammates recall how Shaq mastered the game in his youth

Teammates recall how Shaq mastered the game in his youth

The first day Stephen Roberts met the teenage Shaquille O’Neal, O’Neal was a newcomer to Ft. Sam Houston.

“He was wearing a clock,” Roberts recalls.

He wore the clock on his first day of school at Robert G. Cole High in San Antonio, too, as Darren Mathey recalls. It was an homage to the rapper Flavor Flav and coupled with a Gucci ski hat sitting high on his head.

And when he walked into the geometry class taught by basketball coach Dave Madura, a staffer presented him as a surprise for the coach. As the new kid appeared, Doug Sandburg’s eyes widened at this thought: “Holy cow, we’re going to be good.”

Cole went 68-1...

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