SPORTS
01/24/2016 05:36 pm ET

Shaq Provides Surprise Backup In Kids' Basketball Game With Police

The NBA legend dropped in to the Gainesville Police Department after video of a prior match went viral.

When it comes to surprises, it doesn't get much bigger than Shaquille O'Neal.

The retired NBA great dropped in on a group of neighborhood children in Gainesville, Florida for a basketball game with their local police department Saturday.

The 7-foot-1 legend was moved to join in after video of a Gainesville officer playing ball with the kids went viral.

In that dashcam video, Officer Bobby White was responding to a noise complaint about their early evening game Jan. 15 when, instead of breaking them up, he joined in.

The hulking All-Star athlete challenged the kids with free throw shots.
YouTube/Gainesville Police Department
The hulking All-Star athlete challenged the kids with free throw shots.

"I don't know who called but, obviously, I ain't got no problems with it," he says in the video before taking the ball and shooting hoops.

After ending their match, which drew more than half a dozen kids, he asks, "Are you guys out here every day? I might bring some backup. Will you be out here tomorrow?"

O'Neal, who was sworn in as a reserve police officer in South Florida last year, was reportedly so moved by White's response that he reached out to the Gainesville Police Department asking to get in on the fun.

When they were finished, O'Neal huddled the kids together and offered them some life advice.
YouTube/Gainesville Police Department
When they were finished, O'Neal huddled the kids together and offered them some life advice.

As seen in a six-minute video titled "The Rematch," O'Neal's appearance proved to be a truly heartwarming and awe-inspiring sight, for everyone involved.

That included Officer White who, like the kids, was kept in the dark about O'Neal's involvement until the all-star athlete entered the police station looking to play ball.

After shooting hoops with the kids, O'Neal snapped photos with them, signed basketballs and even offered $100 to anyone who could complete a free throw shot -- something each one of them impressively pulled off. When they were finished, he huddled with the kids to offer some advice.

NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal dropped in for a neighborhood basketball game between local children and police officers on Satur
YouTube/Gainesville Police Department
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal dropped in for a neighborhood basketball game between local children and police officers on Saturday.

"Stay out of trouble, listen to your parents, respect your parents. You can be anyone you want to be," he told them. "I'm from the same neighborhood you all are from. I grew up just like this, so only you can change this."

He then got all the kids to repeat after him:

"I will become whatever I want to be. I will be a leader and not a follower. I will respect my peers, my elders, and especially my parents."

Also on HuffPost:

PHOTO GALLERY
Monster Dunks From The 2015-2016 NBA Season
CONVERSATIONS