Introducing Arnetta Yardbourgh: A Trailblazing Professional Coach and Philanthropist. While best known as the former girlfriend of ex-NBA center Shaquille O’Neal and the mother of O Neal’s first baby mama, her story goes far beyond their relationship.

In this captivating article, we explore the incredible achievements of Arnetta Yardbourgh, the Founder and President of AY & ASSOCIATES, LLC. With a decade of expertise, she has transformed lives as a coach and consultant, empowering small business owners and organizations.

Discover her unwavering commitment to social change, philanthropy, and bridging connections among professionals in Houston and surrounding areas. Unveil the inspiring journey of a woman who excels on her own terms.

How Old Is Arnetta Yardbourgh? Her Age, Family, Wiki

Arnetta Yardbourgh, the first known girlfriend of Shaquille O’Neal, was born on December 10, 1971, in Houston, Texas, where she was also raised. As of the current date, she is 51 years old.

Young Arnetta Yardbourgh with her mother and sister.
Young Arnetta Yardbourgh with her mother and sister. Source: Facebook/@arnetta.yardbourgh

Similarly, Arnetta has a sister named Kinika Richardson, who dedicated herself to the aviation industry for two decades and worked as a supervisor for two airlines before transitioning into the world of entrepreneurship.

Likewise, her mother, Cheryl Richardson, is a health educator and owns a website dedicated to her interests. Additionally, Cheryl is a Charles of Stephans Beauty College alum and a master stylist.


Arnetta Yardbourgh’s success story is indeed impressive and multifaceted. Starting her academic journey at Judson High School from 1987 to 1990, she later pursued higher education at Schreiner University, earning a master’s degree in liberal arts and general studies from 1990 to 1992.

Her dedication and academic achievements are evident, complemented by her athletic prowess as a skilled volleyball player, specifically as a middle-blocker.

Despite excelling in volleyball, Arnetta’s passion for sports goes beyond the volleyball court. Her love for football shines through as she actively engages in various football events as a fan, showcasing her diverse interests and appreciation for different sports.

Arnetta Yardbourgh and Shaquille O’Neal

Arnetta Yardbourgh and Shaquille O’Neal’s relationship was kept private during the ’90s. It is known that they were romantically involved and welcomed their first daughter, Taahirah O’Neal, in 1996. After Taahirah’s birth, Arnetta officially became Shaquille’s girlfriend. Shaquille expressed his excitement about becoming a father during a 1997 Sports Illustrated interview.

Following Taahirah’s birth, Arnetta and their daughter relocated from Orlando to Houston, Texas. Shaquille, who lived in Los Angeles at the time, suggested the move to avoid the criticism and judgment that Arnetta faced in Orlando due to her pregnancy.

Arnetta Yardbourgh and Shaquille O'Neal with their daughter.
Arnetta Yardbourgh and Shaquille O’Neal with their daughter. Source: Pinterest

Shaquille revealed that some people assumed Arnetta was only interested in his wealth and spread rumors that they met in an inappropriate setting like a hotel, which he vehemently denied.

Despite not living together, Arnetta’s decision to focus on her education was a priority, and she and Taahirah continued to reside in Houston. Shaquille frequently travels to spend time with them, and their relationship has remained positive and supportive.

Both Arnetta and Taahirah have achieved success in their respective careers. Taahirah graduated with a sociology degree from Oglethorpe University in 2019 and is now working as a brand communications and community engagement analyst at PepsiCo Multicultural.

She Has A Custody Of Her Daughter

Arnetta Yardbourgh’s relationship with Shaquille O’Neal saw her receiving custody of their daughter, Taahirah O’Neal. Although the exact timing of their breakup is unknown, Shaquille met his future wife, Shaunie O’Neal, in 1996. Despite the separation, Shaquille remained connected with Arnetta and Taahirah.

Following their breakup, Arnetta and Taahirah continued to live in Shaquille’s house in Houston, showing that they maintained a positive relationship despite challenging circumstances, including the tragic death of their housekeeper in 2004.

Arnetta Yardbourgh with her daughter.
Arnetta Yardbourgh with her daughter. Source: Facebook/@arnetta.yardbourgh

Arnetta demonstrated resilience and happiness by focusing on the cherished memories she shared with her daughter. In 2014, they attended Shaquille’s All-Star Comedy Jam together, reconnecting with family and friends while making new acquaintances.

Shaquille displayed remarkable generosity towards Arnetta, supporting her with custody of Taahirah in 2022. Despite their separation, he continued to provide financial support for their daughter, ensuring her well-being.

Who Is Yardbourgh Married To Now?

Despite her high-profile past as the first known girlfriend of NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, Arnetta Yardbourgh has kept her personal life well-guarded. As of today, there remains an air of mystery surrounding her marital status. After her relationship with Shaquille O’Neal, Arnetta’s own romantic pursuits have remained undisclosed.

Meanwhile, after parting ways with Arnetta Yardbourgh, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal found love with television personality Shaunie. They tied the knot in 2002, becoming parents to four children during their marriage. Two of them including Myles O’Neal were out of wedlock from Shaunie.

Arnetta Yardbourgh is single.
Arnetta Yardbourgh is single. Source: Facebook/@arnetta.yardbourgh

Shareef Rashaun was born in 2000, followed by Amirah Sanaa in 2001. Despite their children being born before marriage, their family continued to grow with the addition of Shaqir Rashaun in 2003 and Me’arah Sanaa in 2006.

Although Shaq and Shaunie separated after a few years, they briefly reunited before ultimately divorcing in 2009. Despite their split, they maintained a friendly relationship, co-parenting their children with care.

Post-divorce, Shaunie gained fame for creating the hit reality show, “Basketball Wives.” Meanwhile, Shaq’s romantic journey continued with Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander in 2010. Their relationship, however, was short-lived, ending in 2012 after winning the dating show for Flava Flav’s heart.

Currently, Shaq’s heart is captured by actress Annie Ilonzeh, best known for her role as Emily Foster on NBC’s “Chicago Fire.” First seen together in 2019, they have been spotted hand in hand, showcasing a happy and blossoming romance.

With a ten-year age gap, Annie and Shaq prove that love knows no boundaries. As Shaq’s love life continues to evolve, fans eagerly follow his journey to find lasting happiness.

Net Worth- How Much Does She Earn?

Arnetta Yardbourgh’s exact net worth is not publicly disclosed, making it a mystery. Unlike her former partner Shaquille O’Neal, who is one of the richest athletes in the world with a net worth of over $400 million, Arnetta’s financial details are not widely known.

Shaquille earned $200 million from endorsements alone during his NBA career and continues to earn millions even after retirement through various business endeavors and endorsements, totaling around $60 million per year. In contrast, Arnetta’s financial status is not on the same scale as her former spouse’s immense wealth.

While her net worth may not be in the same league as Shaquille O’Neal’s, Arnetta Yardbourgh could still have a net worth in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Professional Career

Arnetta Yardbourgh is a multi-talented professional known for her expertise in coaching and consulting. With over 14 years of experience in the coaching and consulting industry, she serves as a life coach at her firm AY and Associates, LLC.

Additionally, Arnetta holds the prestigious positions of President and Co-Owner of the Sugar Land Legends, an ABA semi-professional men’s basketball team based in Sugar Land, Texas.

An advocate of women in business, Arnetta is the Chapter President of FemCity Houston and proudly represents a Certified Woman-Owned Business (WBE). Beyond her successful career in coaching and consulting, she is also associated with Otr life coaching, Inc.

Moreover, Arnetta is a versatile professional as she also works as a Makeup Artist at AYA Micro Scalp.

Where Is Arnetta Yardbourgh Now? Is She In Social Media?

Arnetta Yardbourgh currently resides in the Greater Houston area, where she pursues her career as a Professional Coach at AY & Associates, LLC. While she maintains a secluded life, she has an Instagram account. However, her Instagram activity is limited, with only a few or two posts to date, mostly consisting of pictures of herself and her friends.

Arnetta Yardbourgh.
Arnetta Yardbourgh. Source: Facebook/@arnetta.yardbourgh

In the past, Arnetta was fairly active on Facebook, where she shared more posts and images, providing insights into her interests and her life in general. While her Instagram and Facebook profiles exist, it is important to note that she does not frequently use these platforms, as she prefers to keep her personal life private.

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