Even with his Cleveland Cavaliers season at an end (and possibly his career if he retires) basketball great Shaquille O’Neal will try to add another championship title to his resume: spelling champion.
The Big Aristotle challenged last year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, 14-year-old Kavya Shivashankar, to a spell-off on Friday.
O’Neal made an unscheduled appearance at the hotel where the bee is under way this week. He challenged Shivashankar onstage after the sixth round of semifinals. She accepted his challenge, even allowing him two misspelled words, warning him she beat Jimmy Kimmel in a similar challenge last year.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked O’Neal, the tallest person in the ballroom. “I did win the national spelling bee last year.”
“Keep in mind I have my bachelor’s and master’s, and I’m ready to go,” he said.
And a champion scrabble player. Don’t hurt ‘em Shaq.