Shaq and ABC team up again for a new reality show

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Four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal (pictured) will compete in a new sporting event each week in a new ABC reality series, ‘Shaq Vs.,’ which will debut on Aug. 18, the network announced today. It is produced by Dick Clark Productions and Media Rights Capital.

Over the course of the series, O’Neal will challenge Olympian Michael Phelps in swimming; Super Bowl champ Pittsburgh Steeler Ben Roethlisberger in football; reigning U.S. Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in tennis; championship fighter Oscar de la Hoya in boxing; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols in baseball; and Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor in beach volleyball.

According to USA Today, O’Neal said he came up with the idea as a fun way to help train for the NBA season and figured sports fans ‘would really want to see an athlete play another sport.’ He knew most of the athletes and recruited some of them on Twitter. Filming begins Wednesday.

O’Neal joins the Cleveland Cavaliers next season. The last time the basketball champion worked with ABC on a reality series, it involved helping overweight children lose pounds in Florida. This time, it’s all about Shaq.

“These athletes may be on top of their game, but I am up for the challenge,” O’Neal said in a press release. “I plan to train hard and win, so look out.”


-- Maria Elena Fernandez

Los Angeles Times