Sports

Shaq: Hoops dreams started with Texas high school state championship team

  • Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal laughs with his former high school teammates during halftime of the boys' UIL Class 1A Division 1 state basketball final, Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Austin, Texas. The UIL was honoring the undefeated 1989 San Antonio Cole Team (36-0) that won the state championship 25 years ago.  O'Neal was described as the greatest player to ever play in the UIL State Tournament by UIL Executive President Charles Breithaupt. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

    Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal laughs with his former high school teammates during halftime of the boys' UIL Class 1A Division 1 state basketball final, Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Austin, Texas. The UIL was honoring the undefeated 1989 San Antonio Cole Team (36-0) that won the state championship 25 years ago. O'Neal was described as the greatest player to ever play in the UIL State Tournament by UIL Executive President Charles Breithaupt. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal waves to the crowd while standing with his former high school teammates during halftime of the boys' UIL Class 1A Division 1 state basketball final, Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Austin, Texas. The UIL was honoring the undefeated 1989 San Antonio Cole Team (36-0) that won the state championship 25 years ago.  O'Neal was described as the greatest player to ever play in the UIL State Tournament by UIL Executive President Charles Breithaupt. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

    Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal waves to the crowd while standing with his former high school teammates during halftime of the boys' UIL Class 1A Division 1 state basketball final, Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Austin, Texas. The UIL was honoring the undefeated 1989 San Antonio Cole Team (36-0) that won the state championship 25 years ago. O'Neal was described as the greatest player to ever play in the UIL State Tournament by UIL Executive President Charles Breithaupt. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal feigns crying during his introduction while standing with his former high school teammates during halftime of the boys' UIL Class 1A Division 1 state basketball final, Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Austin, Texas. The UIL was honoring the undefeated 1989 San Antonio Cole Team (36-0) that won the state championship 25 years ago.  O'Neal was described as the greatest player to ever play in the UIL State Tournament by UIL Executive President Charles Breithaupt. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

    Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal feigns crying during his introduction while standing with his former high school teammates during halftime of the boys' UIL Class 1A Division 1 state basketball final, Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Austin, Texas. The UIL was honoring the undefeated 1989 San Antonio Cole Team (36-0) that won the state championship 25 years ago. O'Neal was described as the greatest player to ever play in the UIL State Tournament by UIL Executive President Charles Breithaupt. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)  (The Associated Press)

Shaquille O'Neal won four NBA championships and an Olympic gold medal in a career that likely will land him in the Hall of Fame.

O'Neal says he owes a lot of it to his 1989 state championship winning team at San Antonio Cole High School.

O'Neal and his Cole teammates were honored at the state tournament Saturday on the 25th anniversary of their championship. Back then, he was a skinny, nearly 7-foot center who averaged 32 points, 22 rebounds and eight blocks.

The honors at the state tournament came the day after Cole retired his No. 33 high school jersey.

O'Neal says his two years at Cole taught him teamwork, how to play hard and started his NBA dreams.