Sportress of Blogitude

Shaq addresses paying for funeral of slain Louisville signee Dexter Rentz

Shaquille O’Neal will cover all the expenses for the upcoming funeral of slain Louisville Cardinals football signee Dexter Rentz, 18, who was shot and killed in a shooting in Orlando, Fla., over the weekend.

“Whatever his mom wants,” O’Neal said Monday night, via Andrea Adelson of ESPN.

O’Neal, who lives in Orlando, sprung to action after hearing about Rentz’s death on Saturday night in a local news report about the shooting. He reached out to the young man’s parents to offer his assistance, and the Hall of Famer will pay for all the costs associated with Rentz’s memorial, including a horse and carriage and custom-made 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.”

Orlando police continue to investigate the incident in which four people were shot but only Rentz, who signed with Louisville in December, was mortally wounded. Rentz’s mother, Salisa Rentz Sinclair, said her son was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was a victim of a drive-by shooting intended for other targets.

O’Neal of course is still coming to terms with the tragic passing of dear friend Kobe Bryant a few months ago in a helicopter crash, something he alluded to in his comments about Rentz’s death. It also merits noting that this is not the first time that O’Neal has covered the funeral expenses for someone who lost their life far too soon.

There is no doubt that Rentz’s family appreciates O’Neal’s gesture as they process and mourn the death of a person poised to take on the next chapter in his young life.