UPDATE: A familiar face arrived at the Gainesville PD Saturday, having seen the viral video. Shaq wanted to meet Bobby White, the officer who first met with the friends last Wednesday, and play some pickup.
The former NBA star has a history in law enforcement, in January 2015 becoming a reserve officer in South Florida.
To view the entire photo album, checkout the Gainesville PD Facebook page.
The original story is below.
The Gainesville Police Department responded to a noise complaint in the Florida city over friends playing basketball in the street on Jan. 13. Instead of handing out tickets, the officer, identified in the released dashcam footage as Bobby White — who can't exactly be praised for a stellar jump shot — sticks around to play for a few minutes, eventually lowering the net to throw down a dunk.
White tells the kids he's fine with them playing basketball in the street.
The scenario isn't overly different from situations which occasionally arise in Canada over road hockey games. As recently as September of last year, stories made headlines in Toronto over a municipal bylaw which states "no person shall play or take part in any game or sport upon a roadway," a catch-all which includes the cliched Canadian pastime. There are similar bylaws in cities and towns across Canada.
"I don't know who the people are who have the time to remove hockey nets from streets," Toronto's mayor John Tory said at the time. "Most kids and their parents are sensible enough to move the hockey net off the streets when they see cars coming along."
The video from the Gainesville PD ends with a note telling viewers it plans to focus on those committing crimes. Officer White tells the group he may return another day for a full match.