Shaquille O’Neal Pays $20k for Mom to Watch John Legend and Jennifer Hudson from Stage at Fundraiser
2024/04/02

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did it for his momma.

On Saturday night, the NBA legend hosted his third annual event, aptly dubbed The Event, to raise money for his The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation — and O'Neal generously emptied his own wallet during the course of the evening.

During a live auction that was held as part of the event, the basketball star paid $20,000 so that his mom, could sit at a single table on stage for a concert that included , , and

“Come up here momma,” Shaq, 51, said as a table was being set up on the stage of Las Vegas’s MGM Grand. Lucille happily obliged and danced for Paak, much to her famous son’s delight.

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The basketball legend also bid $50,000 and won a lavish vacation to Bora Bora, ensuring that, on an evening meant to raise money for his eponymous foundation, he had played his part with an overall $70,000 spend.

While Legend, Hudson and Dan + Shay were the musical headliners, the evening was really focused on the former basketball player's philanthropy.

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Having started his organization in 2019, Shaq has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club and Communities in Schools in Las Vegas and Atlanta — which are two organizations that are close to the NBA legend's heart — and works to create opportunities for underserved youths.

At the Event, an annual affair, guests had the chance to bid alongside Shaq on various lavish items during a live auction, including one lot on Saturday to hang out with the basketball star at his house. Another item included a golf round with Mark Wahlberg and a hang with David Beckham at an Inter Miami soccer game, which went for $40,000.

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As well as the auction, the fun event included a live concert and a private dinner.

"We raised the bar last year, and The Third Event promises to do the same,” the NBA star said ahead of the Saturday fundraiser.

“I’m so grateful to our entertainers who are once again donating their time. I know they will create a night of incredible music and comedy in a true testament to the power of unity to make a difference in kids' lives. I'm also excited to see familiar faces and new supporters alike, joining hands in the spirit of compassion to give back to the community. Let’s make this another night to remember!"

In 2021, as a result of auction buys and ticket sales, The Event raised $2.9 million for underserved children. In 2022, that number was eclipsed, with $3.15 million raised. The amount raised in 2023 has not been released.

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