Shaq visits Gainesville to play ball with kids

Basketball star heard about viral story involving local officer

By Stacey Readout - Executive producer of digital strategy

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal made a special trip to Gainesville to play basketball with a group of kids, more than a week after someone called police to complain they were playing too loudly in the street.

Last week, someone called the Gainesville Police Department to make the complaint.

Officer Bobby White responded and instead of reprimanding the kids, he decided to join in and play with them.

His dash camera was rolling and captured more kids showing up to join in.

"Have fun. Glad to see y'all doing this than out there causing problems," Officer White told the group. "You play here every day? Okay, I'm going to try to bring some back-up out here tomorrow and we'll get a game going."

As of Saturday evening, the video had been viewed on the WJXT Facebook page more than eight million times and shared more than 154,000 times.

Shaq heard about the story and wanted to surprise the kids. He wanted it to remain a secret. He traveled to Gainesville and met Officer White (pictured), then went to the neighborhood to meet the kids.

Officer White has declined an interview.

"Officer White is a private, humble guy that didn't want the personal attention," Gainesville Police Department spokesperson Ben Tobias said.

Thousands of people on social media praised Officer White for his response to the kids and were glad to see the kids having fun than out on the street causing trouble.

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