Ex-NBA star Shaquille O'Neal sworn in as sheriff's deputy

Former basketball star Shaquille O'Neal (right) in a photo from Sheriff Victor Hill's Facebook page.
Former basketball star Shaquille O'Neal (right) in a photo from Sheriff Victor Hill's Facebook page.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/VICTOR HILL

Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal has been sworn in as a deputy sheriff in Clayton County, Georgia.

The 216cm-tall former LA Lakers and Miami Heat star was sworn in by the area's sheriff, Victor Hill as an honorary deputy.

Sheriff  Hill shared several pictures on his Facebook page on Sunday (Dec 4), calling 44-year-old O'Neal  the tallest deputy in the history of the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.

The photos show Sheriff Hill shaking hands with O'Neal  and the two smiling as the former NBA player holds up a badge.

While it is still unclear in what capacity the new deputy will serve the force, O'Neal was nevertheless welcomed to "the crime fighting family" by Hill.

"Shaq" as he is colloquially known has been a part-time Atlantan the past 15 years, splitting his time between Orlando and his Metro Atlanta properties - a Buckhead condominium and a 2.5ha farm in Gwinnett. In May, O’Neal purchased a home in McDonough with a reported US$1.5 million (S$2.1 million) price tag.

O’Neal is also the proprietor of one of Atlanta’s much-loved sweet eateries, a Krispy Kreme franchise location on Ponce de Leon Avenue. O’Neal became a franchise owner in October 2016.

The Clayton designation is one of several the NBA Hall-of-Famer holds from sheriff’s offices around the country, said kabc.com. O’Neal is also an honorary US Deputy Marshal and is a reserve police officer with departments in California, Arizona and Florida.