Birmingham, Ala. (SEPT. 12) – The McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola announced today that four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion, Olympic gold medalist, and television sports analyst, Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal, has been named this year’s official ambassador. As the ambassador, Shaq will be the Grand Marshal of the McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola parade and honored during the game’s halftime show.
The 78th annual event will take place on Saturday, October 26th at historic Legion Field and tickets can be purchased online at www.magiccityclassic.com.
“ Shaq is one of the most influential basketball players in NBA history, and we are beyond excited to have him as our ambassador,” says Executive Director, Perren King. “To have someone with such accolades representing the largest HBCU football classic in the country is great for the fans, the game, and ourcity .”
Born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 6, 1972, Shaquille O'Neal is considered to be one of the most dominant basketball players in NBA history. At 7 ft 1 in tall and weighing 325 pounds, Shaq's larger-than-life personality and powerful athleticism have resulted in worldwide adulation and one of the most passionate fan bases in sports and entertainment. O'Neal played for six teams throughout his 19-year NBA career and was announced as a nominee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on December 21, 2015.
Shaq's accolades include the 1999–2000 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, and three NBA All-Defensive Team selections. He is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year. Following his basketball career, he found success off the court in acting, music, television, and gaming. Currently, Shaq is an analyst on Inside The NBA on TNT.
The McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola brings fans and celebrities from around the country as Alabama State University and Alabama A&M University battle it out for a potential spot in the SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) Championship. Fans also enjoy the McDonald’s Magic City Classic Parade, which will be broadcast live in Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, and Montgomery along with the Coors Light Pre-Game Tailgate Party at Legion Field. The game is scheduled for 2:30 pm on Saturday, October 26th, and the much-anticipated halftime show will feature the Mighty Marching Hornets and the Marching Maroon and White.
For more information on the McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola, visit www.magiccityclassic.com.