By: Brett Pizzi
While not everyone is cut out it to make it in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal and his friends are bringing the professional experience straight to fans.
Dubbed “Shaq & Friends- Fantasy Experience,” players participated in a fantasy draft and balled with some sports legends including Mike Miller, Jason Taylor, Cris Carter, and of course Shaq himself.
During one of the three days the event took place, players squared off on the court side-by-side with the superstars. Players stood in a draft, where they’d be picked by the coaches. Later on in the afternoon the players would find themselves on a wooden court designed by the same company that creates the court for the NCAA Final Four.
Players then donned their own personal uniform, walked out on the court, and waited for the referees to get the game started. All of this paired with an official score board, plenty of physical trainers, and being able to throw a fast break pass to Jason Taylor led to a feeling of authenticity in this hotel’s grand ballroom. Each team knew they wanted to show they were the best, and by making their way through a playoff bracket and into the championship, the bragging rights for taking first were up for grabs.
Of course with this many past stars, the event came with a high price tag and a low player cap. Costing right around $6,995, participants 21 and over were able to coach and those 35 and older were able to play. Included in the price was a room at Waldorf Astoria property, being able to participate in networking and social events, ground transportation, and meals Those who chose to coach rather than play are able to coach alongside the legends, while those who play are able to compete and receive instructions from the pros.
The exclusive event is capped out at 32 players, ensuring that everyone involved gets a chance to play. Players were joking around with stars, throwing around trash talk, and even the older players were showing that they still got it. While no solid dates have been announced for a return, the demand certainly was there for a return.
Keep an eye out for future dates and for new stars to join in on the fun. Visit http://shaqexperience.com for more information.
By: Brett Pizzi