Lucille O’Neal was born into a Christian home in Dublin, GA. She spent her childhood, adolescent years and early adulthood in the Central Ward of Newark, New Jersey. She often speaks of the spiritual foundation and lessons taught by her mother and grandmother as the source of her courage and inspiration for parenting. Lucille refers to them as two of the most humble and strong women she has ever known. As an active mother in the lives of her four adult children and a grandmother of fourteen, she takes her role of parenting and grand parenting very seriously!
In 1992 Lucille and her family moved to Florida where she contributed to the development of the SHAQ NETWORK as the Chief Operations Officer. She managed the day-to-day operations of the first official Shaquille O’Neal Fan Club until October 2003. In addition to the duties in her son’s organization, Lucille co-founded the Mother’s of Professional Basketball Players (MPBP) and served four years as executive secretary (1996-2000). She was very instrumental in the leadership and development of the organization’s goals and objectives. The MPBP was created to provide support to mothers whose sons and daughters were currently playing or had played in the National Basketball Association and the Women’s National Basketball Association. Since the organization’s inception the MPBP has endeavored to support the communities represented by the players and their mothers. Today she serves as the current President of this restructured organization; The Mother’s of Professional Basketball Players, Inc.
Lucille’s gratitude to God for His mercy, grace and abundant blessing on the lives of her family has motivated her passion to help others that are less fortunate. Her sincerity is evidenced by her involvement in numerous youth oriented and community projects. Lucille’s straightforward attitude and ability to adapt to any situation has equipped her with a tireless ability to serve. Whether chairing fundraising events like “Shaq’s Mama Said Knock You Out!” (an annual premier event featuring a variety of celebrity hosts, including Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Dennis Scott, to benefit The Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund; named in memory of her Mother) or rolling up her sleeves to assist other organizations at the grass roots level, Lucille gives her all for the cause. As a newly appointed Board Member of Orlando’s Ovarian Cancer Alliance and a new member of MD Anderson’s Council of Governors, it is evident that her commitment and devotion to others is conveyed through her extraordinary volunteer efforts (past and present) and her involvement with numerous charitable organizations. Lucille’s dedication to diverse causes underscores her heart for humanity. She has made countless contributions to various charities and continues to be an inspiration to many people, young and old. After 30 years of raising two sons and two daughters, Lucille resumed her studies in an Adult Education Program at Bethune-Cookman University where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration (June 2003). Most recently she completed her graduate program (Master of Arts in Organizational Management) at the University of Phoenix (March 2005).