When Shaquille O'Neal learned about the death of University of Louisville signee Dexter Rentz, he reached out to the family and offered his services. Rentz died in a shooting in Orlando, Florida, which is where O'Neal lives. In an interview with ESPN, the NBA legend said he will pay for all the funeral expenses, including a horse-and-carriage and custom-made casket.
It was reported that Rentz was shot and killed on Saturday, April 25. He was 18. When O'Neal saw a news report on Rentz. He learned more about him by watching his football highlights from Ocoee High School. "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."
At the time, Orlando police were investigating the shooting, which also included three additional victims. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Rentz was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and the drive-by shooting was meant for someone else. "We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dexter Rentz," Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield said in a statement. "He was a great young man who had a contagious personality, and was able to light up a room with his smile. He was a great kid to be around and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rentz family during this extremely difficult time."
According to 247Sports, Rentz was a three-star recruit who had 29 offers. He did a little bit of everything at Ocoee, recording 15 total touchdowns, including one punt return, in his senior seasons. Schools really took notice of Rentz his junior year, catching 60 passes for 1,200 yards and recording eight interceptions while tallying 14 touchdowns.
"What sold me is when I got on campus and the connection that I had with the coaches and how they interact with their players and the players most of all, they showed me like a brotherhood," he said to Cardinal Authority last fall when asked about committing to Louisville. "I wasn't even at the University of Louisville or at the time not even committed and they still treated me like family."