Shaquille O’Neal, a legendary basketball superstar, returned to his birthplace of Newark to co-host a basketball tournament in front of the city hall. He oversaw this tournament alongside the city’s Mayor, Ras Baraka.
The 3-on-3 tournament was held on the Broad Street that’s right in front of the city hall and featured both high school boys and girls games. O’Neal is a basketball star that was born and raised in Newark but left while in high school to play the high school games in Texas.
He later played for major leagues of the NBA, especially the Lakers. However, even in his long career at the NBA spanning close to 19 years, he wasn’t swallowed by stardom. He maintained close contacts and presence with his birth town of Newark.
The tournament that will be the first of its kind is dubbed the “Believe in Newark” tournament. Registration for participation was held weekend prior to the games. This weekend also saw the preliminary games for the tournament played at the JKF recreation centre.
O’Neal has continuously expressed his commitment to the development of his hometown. Not only is he overseeing the games but in 2012, he helped re-open the Cityplex Movie Theatre in the city’s Central Ward.
This renovation that cost close to $7 million was done in conjunction with Boraie Development LLC, a real estate company based in New Brunswick. This company with over 30-year presence in Newark has helped construct over 1 million square foot of residential, commercial and mixed property buildings in Newark and other cities of New Jersey.
The key specialty of Boraie Company is property management services such as property leasing, maintenance and accounting. These services are in partnership with Newark residents. It is this continued working relationship that has cemented the people’s trust in the company.
The company also partnered with O’Neal in the drive that will see the construction of the first high rise residential apartment in the city. This project will be situated on the site of a former Science high school. This will be first of its kind in the area in close to half a century.
O’Neal’s interest and investments in the city of Newark and New Brunswick is an indication of his determination to seeing his hometown progress. Through these games, he also expresses his interest in helping its young talents.