O'Neal Takes Charge of High School Event

by Jeff Tzucker
by Conrad Brunner

February 3, 2003

Indianapolis, February 3, 2003 - Jermaine O’Neal will take over the All-City/County Super Shootout basketball tournament, the Pacers' All-Star forward announced Monday. The event will officially be renamed the Jermaine O'Neal Super Shootout.

“I know some of the best high school basketball in the country is played in Indiana. I am very happy to lend my name and support to this event,” said O’Neal.

The tournament features senior boys and girls basketball players who will be competing for $1,000 scholarships. The scholarships will be received in the honor of the late Shannon McPherson and John Stewart, two remarkable athletes who played in Marion County. The competition includes a 3-point shooting contest, all-star games and a slam-dunk contest for the boys.

O’Neal, who will be playing in his second NBA All-Star game Sunday, expressed his motivation for getting involved in this event, saying. “I was once in that position and would’ve loved to have been around an NBA player who wanted to be involved in what I was trying to do in high school.”

The Indianapolis Recorder, the oldest African-American newspaper in Indiana, inaugurated the tournament in 1991 and has run the event for 13 years before appointing O’Neal. In addition to the tournament, O’Neal will host a banquet for the athletes and their parents on April 10.

The tournament is to take place at Conseco Fieldhouse on April 12. It is open to the general public for an admission price of five dollars, which will be donated to the charity of O’Neal’s choice.

O’Neal, who entered the NBA directly from high school in 1996, is looking just as forward to meeting the players as they are about meeting him. He said that he looks forward to it because it gives him the opportunity to “mingle” with the outstanding players that he has only heard about.

He also has some advice: “I am going to tell them to enjoy their senior year. You only go to high school once.”