Shaquille O'Neal made a surprise visit to Reem Central Park and played basketball with kids. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Shaquille O’Neal, popularly known as Shaq, made a surprise visit to Reem Central Park earlier today. He took kids by surprise after he showed up unannounced at the basketball court.

The kids and the local community got a chance to shoot hoops with Shaq while he interacted with them on the court.

The former NBA star was also moved to see a mural honouring the late Kobe Bryant on the courtside walls of the park.

Four-time champion

The National Basketball Association (NBA) named the four-time champion and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer O’Neal as the official NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 Ambassador.

O’Neal participated in youth development programmes and interacted with local fans during the week of the games.

The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 are part of a ground-breaking multiyear partnership between the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi that earlier this year saw the launch of the first Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League, a youth basketball league for 450 boys and girls ages 11-14 from local schools across Abu Dhabi.

The games featured two preseason matches between the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in front of a lineup of local and international celebrities and influencers.