CLEVELAND — Shaquille O'Neal's mom has written a tell-all book — about herself.
Inspired and motivated by her superstar son, Lucille O'Neal is promoting, "Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go: From Mental Welfare to Mental Wealth," a book that chronicles her life as an unwed teen mother, her struggles with alcohol and her determination to get a college degree in her 40s.
On Wednesday, with her "little one" Shaquille sitting by her side, Lucille O'Neal signed copies of the book at Quicken Loans Arena before her son's team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, hosted the Milwaukee Bucks. Shaquille O'Neal is currently sidelined with a thumb injury but is expected to return for the NBA playoffs.
Lucille O'Neal said the book had been "in me for years." She was motivated to write the book to help inspire others, especially young, unmarried mothers.
"I'm encouraging people and I'm telling them in some cases that it's not the end of your world," she said, sitting courtside as the Bucks warmed up a few feet away. "I'm just telling people to be strong. A lot of people today are visual, they can almost look into my life when they read the book and say, 'Well, if she got through all of that, and she's doing as good as she's doing, then there's hope for me.' "
Shaquille beamed when he talked about his mother.
"I'm very proud," he said. "She has always been the one who I've called the remote controller of my life. A lot of times when I'm sitting and not doing anything she'll call me and say, 'You know you need to go to school. You know you need to get your master's (degree). You know I don't like what you said on TV. You know you need to get your doctorate.'
"She has always been my role model, her and my father."
Shaquille said he inherited his mom's softer qualities.
"Everything nice that I do is her and everything ferocious that I do is my father," he said.
Lucille said she has always calls her oldest son, Shaquille, never Shaq.
So what does she call him when she's mad at him?
"Dummy," he said with a laugh.
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