Pro athletes, kid actors, and chart-topping music artists gathered for Cartoon Network’s second annual Hall of Game Awards, a festive event hosted by Shaquille O’Neal and featuring a performance by Flo Rida, named the winner of Amped Up Anthem for “Good Feeling.”
Throwing shirts to the kids in the red-carpet bleachers before making a flying entrance on stage on a zip line, Shaq said he signed on to host “because my kids wanted me to do it." He named Julius “Dr. J” Erving as the athlete who most inspired him, but said his parents were his biggest role models.
Not a father but uncle to “tons of nieces and nephews,” basketball fan Flo Rida was eager to meet Shaq and participate in an event “that’s all about kids, to put a smile on their faces and do something positive, to be a part of something to uplift and bring joy.” Now getting ready to record with Pitbull and go out on a Canadian tour, he’s jazzed about the video for his latest single, “Wild Ones,” in which he skydived for the first time. “It was one of the best feelings in the world. I don’t know if I’d do it again,” he confided. “I had a safe landing, that’s all I cared about.”
Michael Boley, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz of the New York Giants added the Sickest Showdown Award to their Super Bowl win, while Cruz also nabbed Dancing Machine for his moves on the field. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, winner of the In It to Win It Award, credited his family for keeping him grounded and said that he dreamed of playing baseball since he was four. “I stuck with it and it worked for me. I’m pretty blessed,” he said.
Presenter Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens was excited to meet Icon Award winner David Beckham and vowed to return “and bring my kids. “I’ve got to pick up my game because I want to win one of these,” he said.
Among the teen stars in attendance were China Anne McClain and her sisters Lauryn and Sierra, who have a deal with Hollywood Records and plan to release a single in the next few months, and brothers Chris and Kyle Massey, who are working on signing artists to their label, Massey Boy Records, while doing a live-action pilot for Cartoon Network.
Taped appearances included one from First Lady Michelle Obama, promoting her Let’s Move initiative against childhood obesity.
The Hall Of Game Awards show repeats on Cartoon Network on February 24 at 6:30 p.m., and on February 26 at noon.
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(Photo: Christopher Polk/WireImage)