O'Neal latest athlete to grace box

Updated: March 17, 2005, 2:39 PM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- Shaquille O'Neal's taste in breakfast cereals might be changing.

Shaquille O'Neal
Narcissus would be proud of Shaq, admiring a mockup of the new Wheaties box.

The longtime fan of Frosted Flakes, which he once called "the best cereal ever created," is the latest athlete to grace a Wheaties box.

The Shaq box, which features a picture of the 12-time NBA All-Star in a red Miami Heat uniform on the front and a smaller photo in his white home uniform on the back, began hitting supermarket shelves this week.

"Sexy man, sexy man," O'Neal said Wednesday, after unveiling a 7-foot replica of the box.

Since 1934, hundreds of athletes have appeared on the Wheaties box, starting with Jack Armstrong -- the fictitious All-American boy.

Some of the other athletes on past covers include Lou Gehrig, Chris Evert, Mary Lou Retton, Walter Payton, Larry Bird, Bruce Jenner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan -- whose 18 Wheaties-box appearances are the most of any athlete.

It's actually an honor. I remember as a youngster ... seeing all those greats like Kareem and Magic on the box and then saying to my mother and father, 'I'm going to be on the cover of that one day.' And then they'd smack me and say, 'Shut up.'
Shaq

"It's actually an honor," O'Neal said. "I remember as a youngster, going to the stores, seeing all those greats like Kareem and Magic on the box and then saying to my mother and father, 'I'm going to be on the cover of that one day.' And then they'd smack me and say, 'Shut up.' "

But he made it.

"It's a big day for myself and for my family," O'Neal said. "I think this'll be even bigger for my children. I'm going to go home and tell them, 'Look. Daddy's a superstar. I'm on the cover of cereal.' "


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press