Basketball-playing cop Bobby White takes Shaquille O'Neal as backup.

Watch Basketball-Playing Cop Surprise Kids by Taking Shaquille O’Neal as Backup

Watch Basketball-Playing Cop Surprise Kids by Taking Shaquille O’Neal as Backup

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Jan. 24 2016 10:33 AM

Watch Basketball-Playing Cop Surprise Kids by Taking Shaquille O’Neal as Backup

shaquilleonealbasketballgainesvillepolice_1
Shaquille O'Neal joins a neighborhood game of basketball in this Gainesville Police Department photo posted on Twitter on Jan. 23, 2016.

Gainesville Police Department/Twitter

Millions of people watched the video of how a Florida cop responded to a noise complaint of kids playing basketball on the street by joining in on the fun. One of those people appears to have been retired NBA all-star Shaquille O’Neal, who decided to go pay the now-famous Officer Bobby White a visit. Shaq first surprises the cops at the Gainesville Police Department, and then a group of officers go back to the neighborhood where the kids are playing basketball.

Officer White plays it cool at first telling the basketball-playing kids he has brought the promised back-up. “Look at these big guys I brought. You sure you can take them?” he asks, gesturing toward the officers. And truth be told the kids don’t really seem very impressed by all the people in uniform taking over their block. That’s until, of course, O’Neal gets out of the car. O’Neal had apparently asked the Gainesville Police Department to keep the event low-key to avoid a media frenzy.

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“I became a cop to help people, and these kids will never forget the day Shaq rolled up to their neighborhood and played basketball with them,” Ben Tobias, the public information officer for the department, said.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.