ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — DJ Diesel, who probably is best known as Shaquille O’Neal or Shaq, will bring his show to the Orlando area on Oct. 28 for the concert held before the University of Central Florida game against West Virginia, the university announced.
IT’S SHAQ’S HOMECOMING FOR HOMECOMING‼️
— UCF Knights (@UCFKnights) September 16, 2023
The Bounce House Live series is held before every Knights home game on the South Lawn of IOA, which is just outside the western entrance to FBC Mortgage Stadium. The concerts, which are free, usually start two hours before kickoff, weather permitting, and the performing artists change for every game.
Maybe not so coincidentally, the game will be a homecoming for both UCF and for O’Neal.
Fans got to know Shaq well when the Orlando Magic made him the No. 1 overall pick out of Louisana State University in the 1992 NBA Draft, and he became the first star in the team’s NBA history. He entertained fans on and off the court for four seasons, winning Rookie of the Year after the 1992-93 season and going on to lead the Magic to their first NBA Finals appearance in 1995 before leaving as a free agent in Summer 1996. He made the NBA All-Star Game all four seasons he played in Orlando and the All NBA Team three of his seasons in Orlando.
His musical career got started while he was in Orlando, too. He released his rap albums “Shaq Diesel” in 1993 and “Shaq Fu – Da Return” in 1994 as well as many hit rap singles while he played for Orlando. He also released “You Can’t Stop the Reign” in 1996, but it’s not clear if that was before or after he was in Orlando.
He got his start as a professional DJ at the 2015 TomorrowWorld electronic music festival, creating music that is a mix of electronic digital music, dubstep, hip-hop and rock. O’Neal told Yahoo that he got started in that industry to help give him the same kind of energy boost he got when he played basketball. Since then, he has played festivals throughout the world — including at EDC events in Orlando, Lollapalooza, Tomorrowland, Bonaroo, Austin City Limits and and other EDC festivals, to name just a few.
His most recent album, “Gorilla Warfare,” was released this summer.
O’Neal certainly hasn’t been a stranger since he left Orlando for the Los Angeles Lakers. He kept his mansion here until it sold in 2021, performed at EDC in Orlando, has returned to Central Florida often, was inducted into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame and has been active in politics in the region.