Shaq pays for slain girl's funeral

November 27, 2009

Shaquille O'Neal paid for the funeral of a 5-year-old North Carolina girl after being moved by national news coverage of the case of Shaniya Davis, whom police say was kidnapped and killed.

The Cavaliers center got in touch with the family to see what he could do to help, a spokeswoman for O'Neal said Thursday.

More than 2,000 people attended the girl's funeral Sunday. Her body was found Nov. 16 beside a rural road.

Her mother, Antionette Davis, who had reported the child missing six days earlier, is charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution. Mario McNeill is charged with murder, rape and kidnapping in the case.

"I was sitting at home watching it on the news, and the story brought a tear to my eye," O'Neal told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Corey Breece of Rogers and Breece Funeral Home, which handled the service, declined to tell the Fayetteville Observer how much it cost but added that a child's funeral "averages around $4,500."

O'Neal is recovering from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him for six straight games. He said he will return Friday against the Bobcats.

•76ers guard Lou Williams will miss eight weeks after having surgery on his jaw Thursday morning.

Williams broke his jaw in Philadelphia's loss to the Wizards on Tuesday night. His averages of 17.4 points and 5.1 assists are second-highest on the team behind Andre Iguodala.

Rookie Jrue Holiday started in place of Williams on Wednesday.

Associated Press

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