Sportswriter Shaun Scott and his friends Brian Walker and Tony Walker met NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal at Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 24. Courtesy photo

Sportswriter Shaun Scott and his friends Brian Walker and Tony Walker met NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal at Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 24. Courtesy photo

A memorable Vegas trip

Sportswriter Shaun Scott meets one of the best NBA players to ever lace up sneakers.

Las Vegas always has been one of my favorite vacation destinations in the United States.

Thanksgiving weekend 2018 (Nov. 24-26), I made the trip to Vegas for my friend Brian Walker’s bachelor party. I was a groomsman in Walker’s wedding on New Years Eve 2018 in Los Angeles just last week.

We began the bachelor party celebration by renting out a basketball court at the famed Jerry Tarkanian Center. After an hour of 3-on-3 half-court hoops, we took an Uber back to our hotel (Hard Rock Hotel). Before heading up to our rooms, we decided to grab a quick dinner at Big Chicken, which is owned by NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. The eatery was a short walk away from the hotel. We didn’t expect to meet one of the best NBA players of all time during our trip.

As we were devouring our meals, Shaq just happened to walk through the front door.

We approached Shaq, informing him we were in town for a bachelor party. I asked him if he could take a picture with us. He granted our request and said, “How about a selfie?” I replied, “Shaq, we need the full-effect photo!”

After one of the workers at Big Chicken used my cell phone to snap the photo, Shaq shook all of our hands. I felt like I was a little kid, meeting one of the best athletes of all time. While we finished up our food and drinks, a group of kids approached Shaq as well. Shaq was great with the kids and took time to engage with every single one of them. In years past, I have always heard stories about Shaq being one of the most accommodating public figures to the general public.

Those sentiments definitely rang true on Nov. 24 in Vegas. After meeting Shaq, I posted the picture on Facebook, Twitter and sent it out individually to a multitude of my friends via text message. It was an absolutely fantastic way to start a weekend in Vegas!

More in Sports

Mercer Island resident Desiree Berry, pictured with her children Beau, 5, and Bear, 3, clinched a berth at the United States Olympic trials after clocking a time of 2:39.17 at the Cal International Marathon on Dec. 2 in Sacramento, California. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Berry takes top spot at Cal International Marathon

Mercer Island resident clinches a spot at the USA Olympic trials.

Mercer Island Lacrosse Association to host a clinic in February

A free lacrosse clinic and giveaway will take place from noon to… Continue reading

The Mercer Island Islanders boys swim team earned first place at the Kentridge Invitational on Jan. 12. Islanders athletes capturing first place in their respective events consisted of Nate Robinson (50 free), Collin Ralston (200 IM) and James Richardson (100 back). Photo courtesy of Carol Gullstad
Islanders swim team earns first place at Kentridge Invitational

The Mercer Island Islanders boys swim team earned first place at the… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders senior Nate Robinson is determined to lead his team to a Class 3A state title this February. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Robinson is the definition of a sprinter in the pool

Mercer Island senior dominates the 50 free and 100 free.

Mercer Island wrestler Connor Pettigrew (pictured) earned second place in his weight class at the Barry Knott Classic wrestling tournament on Dec. 15 at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Islanders grapplers compete at Barry Knott Classic

The Mercer Island Islanders wrestling team earned fourth place overall at the… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders senior basketball player Angelina Barokas, who was a member of the 2017 Class 3A state championship team, is one of the Islanders team captains during the 2018-19 season. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Barokas is the epitome of a leader

Mercer Island senior forward Angelina Barokas is confident on the hardwood.

Sportswriter Shaun Scott and his friends Brian Walker and Tony Walker met NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal at Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 24. Courtesy photo
A memorable Vegas trip

Sportswriter Shaun Scott meets one of the best NBA players to ever lace up sneakers.

Mercer Island Islanders seniors Stew Vassau, left, and Donnie Howard, right, signed their letters of committment on Nov. 19 to continue their lacrosse careers at the collegiate level. Vassau will play lacrosse for the University of Utah and Howard will continue his lacrosse career at Boston University. Mercer Island boys lacrosse head coach Ian O’Hearn, center, is pictured with his two collegiate bound players. Photo courtesy of Don Howard
Howard, Vassau sign on the dotted line

Mercer Island Islanders seniors Stew Vassau, left, and Donnie Howard, right, signed… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders senior guard/co-captain Will Lee (pictured) said the goal for his squad this season is to win the 2A/3A KingCo Division and clinch a berth in the Class 3A state tournament in March of 2019 at the Tacoma Dome. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Islanders are confident on the hardwood

Mercer Island boys basketball team is looking to take the next step.

Mercer Island Islanders senior girls basketball player Angelina Barokas (pictured) dove for a loose ball against Bellevue in a game during the 2017-18 season. Barokas, who was a member of the Class 3A state championship squad two years ago as a sophomore, is determined to lead her team back to the Class 3A state tournament this March. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Mercer Island girls hoops team has high expectations

Dennis Black is in first season leading the Islanders program.

Mercer Island football player Hunter Johnson, left, makes a play against the Issaquah Eagles during a non-league game this past September. Johnson was one of three Islanders football players that captured 2A/3A KingCo first-team, all-league honors. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders football players earn accolades for stellar 2018 season

A plethora of Mercer Island Islanders football players earned 2A/3A KingCo all-league… Continue reading

The Mercer Island Islanders boys water polo team (pictured) earned fifth place at the Washington water polo state tournament on Nov. 9 at the Curtis Aquatic Center in University Place. Photo courtesy of Dawn Friedland
Islanders earn fifth place at state water polo tournament

Mercer Island defeats Bellevue in season finale.