Shaq offers Hawk Tuah girl “gracious” life advice after partying together

Meera Jacka
Hawk Tuah girl and Shaq

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal gave the viral Hawk Tuah girl, Hailey Welch, advice on “how to deal with fame” after partying in Nashville together.

Tennessee woman Hailey Welch has taken her newfound fame in stride after becoming an overnight internet sensation by coining the viral catchphrase “hawk tuah” during a street interview.

She has since made a fortune selling merch, sung on stage with country music star Zach Bryan, and revealed plans for starting her own show. But not everything has been sunshine and rainbows.

Hailey previously called out “creepy” fake social media accounts and revealed she’s received “hateful comments” online. While partying in Nashville, however, the Tennessee celebrity met Shaq, who shared advice on navigating stardom.

Sources told TMZ that Shaq had his team reach out to the newfound influencer after her appearance with Zach on stage. Hailey was then invited to join Shaq at his DJ gig at Bon Jovi’s place, which is where the two connected.

Not only did the two groove together behind the DJ booth – with Hailey causing the crowd to erupt after recreating her signature “Hawk Tuah” – but Shaq also took the opportunity to get candid.

The former NBA star advised Hailey to “keep a smart team around” to avoid being taken advantage of and give “no mind” to haters who didn’t actually know her.

Hailey’s reps later told Page Six that Shaq was “extremely gracious, personable, and caring” as he ‘realized’ she was “dealing with a lot of unnecessary hate.”

They went on to dub Shaq as “part of the ‘Protecting the Hawk from the Vultures’ squad”, with Hailey allegedly now considering him a “friend and someone who truly cares about her.”

Hailey later posted a photo with Shaq on her Instagram account, writing that he was teaching her to “shoot” in the caption and that “his accuracy is as elusive as a rare remix.” In another post, she dubbed the NBA legend “the Big Diesel”.