State Dept. sending Shaquille O'Neal to Cuba

State Dept. sending Shaquille O'Neal to Cuba
© Getty

The State Department is sending NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal to Cuba in an effort to strengthen ties with the island.

The agency on Friday named O’Neal — best known as Shaq — as the first U.S. basketball envoy to Cuba, where he will travel over the weekend.


O’Neal will host basketball clinics for Cuban children to “demonstrate how sports can serve as a means of developing academic, leadership, and teamwork skills,” State said in a press release.

The agency said O’Neal's trip will build “on the momentum of President Obama’s historic March trip to Cuba."

"During his time in the country, O’Neal will visit historically significant cultural sites in Havana to encourage positive ties between the U.S. and Cuban people,” the press release added.

O’Neal will visit Cuba June 25-28.

The Hall of Fame basketball legend won four championships during his NBA career.