Shaquille O'Neal is an old friend of Robert Hawkins.
When he was a teenager, Shaq attended a basketball camp where Robert Hawkins worked as a councilor. The two kept in touch, and after gaining fame, Shaq decided to visit Dakota and the Freeman Community Center. Robert's son Virgil was delighted to meet the professional sportsman, though he was surprised he was friends with his father.
While trying to find some time away from his fans and his publicist Tracy Flackman, Virgil and Shaq ran afoul of Ferret, Hyde and Kangor. Ferret was reluctant to attack Shaq, especially since he happened to be a big fan of the NBA-superstar.
Shaq learned of Virgil's secret identity as Static, and helped keep his secret from the villains.
Shaquille O'Neal is of course a real-life athlete/basketball player who voiced himself for his animated appearances.