"Alexander had met O’Neal a few times, through the Hollywood scene, but hadn’t thought about him much, at least not in a romantic way. It wasn’t until last summer that she was reintroduced to him through a friend. Alexander was visiting her photographer pal, Christopher “Yella’’ Hawkins, in St. Louis, and saw an autographed picture of Shaq on his wall. She told Yella that she had met Shaq and thought he was cool. Yella texted O’Neal that Alexander had said hello. Almost immediately, O’Neal texted Yella back, asking if Hoopz had a boyfriend. Shaq was divorced at that point and was ready for a new relationship..." --- Shaquille O'Neal and his girlfriend Nikki “Hoopz’’ Alexander reveals how their relationship spun into a beautiful romance during a interview with Meredith Goldstein posted on the Boston.com website.