Shaunie O’Neal introduced her new boyfriend, Pastor Keion Henderson, in a big way on Tuesday, July 6, by penning him a special message in honor of his 40th birthday. The “Basketball Wives” executive producer shared the upload filled with photos and videos of their time together alongside a lengthy caption.
In the heartfelt dedication, O’Neal claimed Henderson, a pastor at Lighthouse Church in Houston, Texas, has become her “safe place” by saying, “Happy Birthday to my best friend and partner in life, Keion. Today many will celebrate you for the impact that you have made in their lives, the love you’ve shown to perfect strangers, and the comfort you’ve provided sharing the word of God. Today I celebrate you because as our friendship has blossomed, you’ve become my safe place where I can authentically grow without judgement.
She added, “You are my soundboard, you’ve taught me so much thus far, and you love me and my children unconditionally. During a time where I had given up on finding a soulmate, God sent you. Thank you for being my friend first, yet being intentional with my time and heart. Happiest Birthday to the man that has made me The Happiest Girl In The World! 🙌🏽❤️.”
Henderson appreciated the romantic gesture by writing underneath her comments section that he will “cherish” O’Neal’s birthday wish the most of the countless “congratulatory messages” he received. “The honor is mines. I will accept the many congratulatory messages. But yours I will cherish.”
He reiterated those similar sentiments after reposting the mother of five’s initial Instagram upload on his respective page. Henderson wrote, “I will accept all congratulatory messages but yours, @shaunieoneal5 will I cherish forever. Thank you for making my 40th Birthday one I will never forget! Shaunie, you’re the gift that keeps on giving. Thank You for accepting my friendship first and trusting me as your safe place where we both can grow without judgement. #thisis40🎊🎊🎊🎂🎂🎂🎉🎉🎉 .”
Despite O’Neal’s Instagram announcement, it is unclear how long the pair has been an item. O’Neal and Henderson have known each other for years stemming from the “BBW” alum attending his church dating as far back as 2019. The following year, during the global pandemic, the couple also provided 1,000 meals for health workers.
Henderson, who has been a part of the ministry for over 25 years and founded Lighthouse Church and Ministries in 2009, was previously married to Felecia Henderson. Although it is uncertain how long the two were married prior to their divorce, Henderson opened up about his relationship status last year while promoting his book “The Shift.” The two share three daughters: Candis, Tynesha and Katelyn.
O’ Neal was previously married to former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal from 2002 to 2009 and shares and co-parents five children: Myles O’Neal, 24, Shareef O’Neal, 21, Amirah O’Neal, 19, Shaqir ONeal, 18 and 16-year-old Me’arah O’Neal.
Following her divorce from Shaq, O’Neal dated Marion Yates from 2010 to 2015.