ICYMI: NBA Star Shaquille O’Neal Was at the UNM vs. Wyoming Game
The Wyoming Cowboys were in legendary company on Saturday, January 6. NBA star Shaquille 'Superman' O'Neal made a surprise appearance at the New Mexico vs. Wyoming game alongside fellow Lakers legend Michael Cooper.
For Cowboys head coach Jeff Linder, the appearance of the Shaq Daddy was a complete shock. During Linder's post-game press conference, the coach detailed the experience:
"I didn't realize when I was walking down the tunnel, and I was a little bit late getting out to the floor, and I thought there were some former, you know, Lobos players in front of me moving at a snail's pace...So I kinda made my way down...the tunnel trying to get by them. And I had no idea...I knew one of them was really big...But I had no idea Shaq was in town." Linder said.
"So I kinda just made my way by him having no idea. And then once I kinda got on the floor and the half-court, it was like...oh, here's Shaquille O'Neal. And I'm like, man, I had no idea! So, obviously, you know, he added some excitement to the crowd. That's a place too; there's a reason why they've won a lot of games there with that environment, and you know, not only players and officials - everyone can get kind of caught up into."
Linder acknowledged that Saturday's game "[was] something to build off of..." and that it was "too hard to dig out of the hole" the Lobos had put the Pokes in. Though the Cowboys lost to the Lobos in a game of tough turnovers, it is something special that the 2024 Cowboys team can say they played in front of two NBA legends.
Why Was Shaq at the Cowboys vs. Lobos Game?
Apparently, Shaquille is taking a step into the world of DJing. Local news station KOB4 reported that Shaq was in town to perform a DJ gig as 'DJ Diesel' at Revel Entertainment Center. He's pretty good at it, too, if his impressive Instagram following is anything to go by (1.2 million followers and counting!) He even hung out with pop sensation Charlie Puth at the ‘TikTok In The Mix music festival.
Alberquque Journal, Shaquille had only ever made one other public appearance at Lobos' court - "a 92-78 Lakers exhibition loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 26, 1999."
Wyoming basketball uniforms through the years
Gallery Credit: 7220sports photos, Getty photos, Lindsay Bugas photos, DJ Johnson photos