Image: Shaquille O'Neal
Tony Dejak  /  AP
Cleveland Cavaliers' star Shaquille O'Neal was touched by news reports on the death of Shaniya Davis.
updated 11/26/2009 10:31:07 AM ET 2009-11-26T15:31:07

Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal has paid for the funeral of a 5-year-old North Carolina girl whose kidnapping and slaying received national news coverage.

The Fayetteville Observer in North Carolina reported Thursday that the Cleveland Cavaliers player was touched by the case of Shaniya Davis .

More than 2,000 people attended her funeral Sunday. The girl's body was found Nov. 16 beside a rural road.

Her mother, Antionette Davis, is charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution. Mario McNeill is charged with murder, rape and kidnapping.

The funeral home declined to say what the service cost.

A Cavaliers official did not return calls from The Associated Press early Thursday. The funeral home declined comment.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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