Shaquille O'Neal and Candace Parker are ready to make a number of middle school athletes happy. On Friday, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes announced O'Neal and Park will "crash" a Philadelphia middle school basketball and cheerleading team's Zoom meeting. Tony the Tiger will join O'Neal and Parker, and the trio will have a big surprise for the teams — a Mission Tiger donation for an outdoor sports court, equipment and more, ensuring when sports return, the school has everything it needs.
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes announced the Philadelphia middle school had no sports at all three years ago. And after some successful teams since their launch of athletics, the future is uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic and limited resources. With Mission Tiger, middle school kids will have an opportunity to access sports. O'Neal and Parker join pro football Hall of Famers LaDainian Tomlinson and Ed Reed, basketball star Ben Simmons and soccer champion Julie Ertz as participants of Mission Tiger.
"We've already funded 600 schools and helped over 165,000 kids," Tony the Tiger said when he was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in December. "When you buy a box [of Frosted Flakes] you can support the mission." Mission Tiger is working with DonorsChoose, which is a crowd-funding platform for school needs in the country. The money will go directly to middle school sports programs for the specific and approved needs identified by teachers and coaches.
Helping kids in need is nothing new for O'Neal. In April, the four-time NBA champion told ESPN he would pay the funeral expenses for University of Lousiville football signee Dexter Rentz, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Orlando, Florida. "He was on his way, he really was," O'Neal said. "I don't know what it feels like to lose a son, but I know what it feels like to lose someone. This one hurts my heart. It really does. I wish things like this would never go on. It's just so sad, and I want to be able to help his family. I wanted to take care of it."
Parker has been a member of WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks since 2008. She led the team to a WNBA title in 2016 while winning the WNBA Finals MVP award. Parker is a two-time winner of WNBA MVP award and was named to the All-Star team five times.