Shaunie O’Neal and Pastor Keion Henderson are engaged. The Basketball Wives star/executive producer said yes after Keion popped the question on November 11. The couple has been dating for almost two years.
“This was one of the most magical and special days of my life, being someone that had never officially been proposed to — like no down on one knee and asked ‘will you marry me’ moment,” Shaunie said in a statement to PEOPLE. “And honestly I’m the person that thought I would never in my lifetime experience a love like this. Everything about that night was incredibly amazing.”
“I wouldn’t change a single thing,” she added. “As a matter of fact, I wish I could experience it over and over again. Keion is an extraordinary man of God. He’s wise, he’s supportive, he’s so loving and attentive. He loves me and my children in a way that has changed my life and my heart. He makes me want to be better every day. And I pray that I do the same for him. This love is FOREVER and I’m honored and overjoyed to do forever with him.”
Keion issued his own statement to the outlet, calling his bond to his fiancée, “inseparable.”
“I’ve never met a more supportive person in my life. There is an inseparable connection that is undeniable between Shaunie and I,” he said. “I am unwilling to let anyone else occupy her space. The love and respect we share for each other contributes to our ever evolving humility and growth. Which ultimately makes us more like God. Who wouldn’t want a spouse that makes you more like The Creator? She simply brings out the best in me, and wants the best for me. Any love that accomplishes all of that naturally is worth pursuing. Our engagement is the beginning of a new day.”
The pair started their engagement at 11:11 pm, while on a tropical island. Shaunie’s rep revealed that the 11/11 date/time stamp has been “a meaningful symbolism and point of connection” for the couple.
It “has played a significant role throughout their relationship since the day they met as they call, text or pray together daily at that time each day without fail. Thus it became the perfect day to cement their love.”
Keion gave his future bride a custom 4.22-carat radiant-cut diamond ring with 50 round-cut brilliant white diamonds set in an 18-karat white gold band. He followed up the proposal with a dazzling fireworks show.
Shaunie and Keion knew each other professionally before taking their relationship to the next level after connecting through a mutual friend. Shaunie was previously married to basketball legend, Shaquille O’Neal, from 2002-2011. The duo shares four children—Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir and Me’arah. Shaunie has another son, Myles, from a previous relationship. Keion has a 9-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.
Shaunie spoke to Hollywood Life about her relationship with her ex, in February. Shaq has admitted that he was unfaithful during the marriage.
“I have agreed that there is nothing less in life to argue about,” she said. “We don’t even have a lot to talk about anymore because everything is really about the kids. We have a great relationship. We get around each other like old friends. We laugh, we catch up real quick, and move on to the next thing. He lives his life. I live mine.”
Raissa Asunbo is a Content Editor at All About The Tea. She lives in Toronto, Canada and enjoys reading, watching movies, traveling and spending time with her family.