The Short of It
After a video of Gainsville police officer Bobby White playing basketball with a group of neighborhood kids went viral earlier this month, the "Basketball Cop" promised he'd return with backup to shoot more hoops. And on Saturday he made good on that promise—and then some!—by bringing along a few other officers and NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal!
In the original police video posted online last week, White pulls up to the neighborhood to deal with a noise complaint about a bunch of kids playing basketball "too loudly." But instead of scolding the kids or breaking up the game, the officer joins in.
"We're going to let kids be kids," the police department said in the Facebook post accompanying the video. "We are going to focus on the ones that commit crimes. #HoopsNotCrime."
The video has been viewed more than 15 million times, earning White an appearance on several national TV stations and the nickname "Basketball Cop." One of the viewers was Shaquille O'Neal. And after seeing White's amazing response, the former Miami Heat star decided he wanted to play in the rematch!
"Told you I was gonna bring some backup, right?" White says in the new video. "You guys ready? Look at these big guys I brought. You sure you can take them?"
O'Neal then emerges from an SUV to cheers. "Oh my God, you're huge!" one kid says. Shaq then gets his game on with the boys, stopping to doll out pointers, give out lots of fist bumps and hugs, and urge the kids to follow their dreams.
"These kids will never forget the day Shaq rolled up to their house to play ball," the police department said.
What an amazing story! And it's all because one cop decided to go above and beyond what he was required to do to show these kids that police officers don't have to be the enemy. In some cases, like this one, they are truly inspirational. What an inspiring example!