‘It was cool:’ Shaq gives more than 30 new laptops to Orlando Boys and Girls Club

UCF student made the winning shot in Shaquille O’Neil Challenge

Former basketball player Shaquille O'Neal delivered more than 30 laptops to children at a local Boys & Girls Club in Central Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla. – A local Boys and Girls Club Clubhouse has been gifted more than 30 laptops after a team member makes a half-court shot during a challenge by NBA legend Shaquille O’Neil.

“That’s my favorite thing about basketball, the crowd, everything,” KT Thompson told News 6 after the laptops were delivered to the students.

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Thompson is a business management major at the University of Central Florida and is credited for being the woman who had the winning shot that brought 36 laptops to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s Levy-Hughes Clubhouse.

The laptops were all donated by NBA and Orlando Magic legend Shaquille O’Neal, who promised to buy the laptops if one person could make a half-court shot.

Shaq surprised the kids while filming a segment for CBS’s Secret Celebrity Renovation — and then got a surprise himself as Thompson made the shot on the first try.

“It really took me back to playing at the YMCA,” Thompson said. “I actually played against his daughter... when I made it, I was like, ‘Well, I am used to it,’ and the kids was like, ‘We going home with laptops...’ It was cool.”

This past week, Shaq kept his promise, delivering the laptops.

“Just for the kids having the opportunity to open the box, opening a new laptop that right there was the moment that they this is what being in the Girls and Boys Club is all about,” Tasha Robinson-Banks said.

Tasha Robinson-Banks is the service director with the Boys and Girls Club’s Levy-Hughes Clubhouse, and she called the donation life-changing.

“This is exciting because there are many homes in this area who really, they just don’t get the extras,” Robinson-Banks said. “They can now do some extra things, coding, you know, learning how to create movies and videos, doing some podcasting, whatever that they dream of doing.”

As for Thompson, she said that as a team member, she is just happy to be able to help further children’s futures.

“It wasn’t just me, it was a God thing. When people say, ‘I am a hero’ or something, I simply say, ‘It’s a God thing,’” Thompson said.

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About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.