Shaquille O’Neal is paying for Dexter Rentz’s funeral.
Rentz, 18, was killed in a shooting in Orlando late Saturday night. A three-star signee at Louisville, Rentz was set to begin his college football career at Louisville this fall.
The legendary NBA center and current TNT broadcaster told ESPN that he would pay for all of the expenses associated with Rentz’s funeral including a carriage and a casket.
"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."
O’Neal has paid for the funeral expenses for numerous young people over the last few years. He’s also helping to pay for the funeral costs for an 11-year-old killed in a car crash in Louisiana on April 10.
Rentz attended a funeral earlier in the day
Rentz was one of four people shot late Saturday night. One is in critical condition while two others suffered non-life-threatening injuries according to the Orlando Sentinel.
His mother told the Sentinel that Rentz was caught in the crossfire and died from his wounds while he was being transported to the hospital. He had been at his grandfather’s house that night after attending the funeral of a friend earlier on Saturday.
“[Younger brother] Derrick pulled him back in the car and they called the paramedics and once the paramedics took too long, that’s when they tried to drive him to the hospital,” Salisa Rentz Sinclair said to the Sentinel. “That’s how they ended up in Washington Shores [near Columbia Street and Mable Butler Avenue] because he stopped breathing. So they stopped the car to perform CPR to revive him.
“They saw police officers driving by, so they stopped and waved the police officers down to help.”
Rentz was set to go to Louisville with Ocoee High School teammate Lovie Jenkins. Jenkins was also a three-star recruit and Rentz had over 20 scholarship offers to choose from when he picked Louisville.
“We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dexter Rentz,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said in a Sunday 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.”
No arrests have yet been made in connection with the shooting.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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