updated 04/02/2010 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/07/2010 AT 12:50 PM ET
Now that her divorce from NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal is almost final, life’s a beach for Shaunie O’Neal, who is enjoying a romance with a new man.
The 35-year-old mother of five stepped out in Maui on last week with her beau, 23-year-old model Marlon Yates.
“He’s very mature,” says Shaunie, who adds that the couple’s age difference is a benefit. “The age thing keeps it fun. The energy level, being out on the beach. He is working out all the time and he inspires me [to work out].”
Shaunie, who executive produces and stars in VH1’s new reality series, Basketball Wives, which premieres April 11, met Yates through a mutual family friend last November, the same month she filed for divorce against Shaq.