Shaquille O'Neal has his number retired during a game between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Arena on December 22, 2016, in Miami, Florida.
Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has followed 5-year-old Syari Sanders’ progress closely in the two months since the little girl was mauled by two dogs that also fatally attacked her friend, Logan Braatz.
O’Neal, now a TNT sports analyst, helped the Sanders family celebrate Syari’s homecoming this week by helping furnish their Atlanta home. ESPN reported Thursday that O’Neal met Sanders and her family at a furniture store in the city and paid the tab for the items they picked out.
Syari, 5, and Logan, who was 6, were mauled on the morning of Jan. 17 as they walked to their bus stop in their southwest Atlanta neighborhood. Adult neighbors rushed to help the children, but Logan died of his injuries.
Syari suffered multiple dog bites to her head that resulted in serious injuries, including the loss of most of one ear. She has so far had six surgeries to repair the damage, but still has several more months of recovery ahead.
She returned home from the hospital on Wednesday.
The owner of the dogs that attacked the children, Cameron Tucker, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, WSB-TV reported in January.