shaquille oneal

This week’s graduating class at Barry University is about to get bigger.

Retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal will graduate Saturday with a doctoral degree in education from the Miami Shores university. His 7-foot-1 frame will don a red-and-black velvet gown as he joins 1,100 graduating students at the commencement ceremonies at the James L. Knight Center in Miami.

Known simply as Shaq, he now can call himself Dr. O’Neal. For 4 1/2 years, the former Miami Heat center took 16 courses, completed 54 credit hours and carried a grade point average of 3.813, according to the university. The 40-year-old’s exact degree is in Organizational Learning and Leadership, with a specialization in human resource development.

“He was a good student,” said Dr. David M. Kopp, chairman of the university’s Organizational Learning and Leadership program. “He is very intellectually curious. He is like a sponge, he takes everything in.”

– Reported by Johnny Diaz of theĀ South Florida Sun-Sentinel