Four-time NBA champion and former sheriff Shaquille O’Neal appeared with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today at the Camden Boys and Girls Club to announce a statewide initiative, Just Play, the Star-Ledger reports:
“Shaq and Christie were on hand to announce a statewide initiative called Just Play to give students more options for after-school activities and avoid getting caught up in crime, drugs, or gangs.
Christie said the state is devoting a half million dollars in funding for the program. He named O’Neal — who retired from the NBA two years ago after 19 seasons — the initiative’s state ambassador.
The governor said the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. are the “most dangerous” for children, when they get out of school but their parents are still at work.
“These are the recruiting hours for gangs and for drug dealers,” Christie said. “The Boys & Girls Club offers hope. Not just protection, but hope.”
Shaq attended the Boys and Girls Club of Newark, NJ, as a child and thanked Gov. Christie for supporting the clubs in the state, describing the governor as “very cool”.