The Corbett Award
The Corbett Award was created in 1967 and named in honor of the late James J. Corbett to commemorate his many contributions to intercollegiate athletics and specifically to the Sugar Bowl. At the time of his death, Mr. Corbett was the Athletic Director at Louisiana State University. These awards are presented annually to the most outstanding amateur male and female athletes in the State of Louisiana. The Corbett recipients are selected each year by members of the N.O. Sports Hall of Fame Committee, based on nominations submitted by the state's sportswriters, sportscasters and sports information directors.
Two-time Corbett Award winner Shaquille O'Neal (1991, 1992) has retired after an exceptional 19-year NBA career. A surefire Hall-of-Famer, O'Neal won the Corbett Award as the top amateur athlete in the state of Louisiana during his sophomore and junior season starring for the LSU Basketball program.
In Jackie MacMullan's article for ESPN.com on O'Neal's retirement, she wrote, "O'Neal will be remembered as one of the most dominant, recognizable and controversial figures in the game, whose body of work included rap records, movies, a lengthy business portfolio and an even lengthier history of philanthropic deeds."
The story closed with a quote from O'Neal, "I tried to make people happy. And I tried to have fun. I think I did both."
"Shaq" won four NBA Championships and scored 28,596 career points (fifth in NBA history) with 13,099 career rebounds (12th in league history) and 2,732 blocked shots (seventh all-time). He was the NBA Most Valuable Player in 1999-2000, as well as a three-time NBA Finals MVP, a three-time All-Star Game MVP and the NBA Rookie of the Year. He made 15 All-Star Game appearances and finished in the top-10 of MVP voting 13 times.
In May of 2011, LSU announced that they would be unveiling a 900-pound statue of the Tiger legend. The statue will feature O'Neal in his familiar dunking pose. It will be the first statue of an athlete on the Baton Rouge campus. A Texas product, Shaq played three seasons at LSU and scored 1,941 career points, fifth on the school's all-time list. He is second on the school's career rebound list with 1,217. He was a McDonald's High School All-American in 1989 and then a two-time AP First-Team All-America section in college, while earning National Player of the Year honors in 1991.
In international play, he won Gold Medals in the 1994 FIBA World Championships, when he was the MVP of the Tournament, and the 1996 Olympics.