Shaq’s Son Shareef O’Neal Leaves UCLA Basketball, Signs w/ Shaq’s Alma Mater LSU
Shareef O’Neal, the son of legendary LSU and former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, is officially following in his father’s size 22 shoes by transferring to LSU. Shareef’s mother is Basketball Wives reality star, Shaunie O’Neal.
The former UCLA Bruin took to Instagram on Wednesday (April 15th), to announce his discussion after playing in 13 games this season as a redshirt freshman. The six-foot eleven star writes,
“It’s official.. I’m officially a tiger.”
Shareef O’Neal, 20, recently spoke to reporters in April about his future home in Baton Rouge. He says,
“LSU was one of the first schools that recruited me. I feel like when I went there to visit it was like home. They didn’t really talk about my dad one time.”
He adds how the University made him feel comfortable rather than focusing on his father’s legacy,
“That’s kind of what stood out to me. Even though there’s a statue outside the gym [of Shaq], they didn’t say ‘We want you to be your dad.’ The LSU family is just—they were just really supportive.”
Shareef O’Neal’s new head coach Will Wade said in a statement,
“The name O’Neal is a part of LSU Basketball history and we look forward to Shareef starting his own path at LSU. Shareef has the ability to impact a game with his tremendous offensive rebound acumen and his ability to stretch the defense with his shot.”
Shareef missed his freshman season with the Bruins after he was diagnosed with a right anomalous coronary artery and had to undergo open-heart surgery. The heart issue was discovered during a routine physical, something his mother, ‘Basketball Wives,’ star Shannie O’Neal said likely saved his life.
Back in December, O’Neal reflected one year after having his life threatening coronary surgery.
View this post on Instagram
Its 12 where I’m at so I’m gonna post this… One year has passed by since my heart surgery … a year ago today i was scared for my life ..a year ago today I was learning how to walk again . A year ago today I was turned into a new kid . A year ago today my life changed .. I thought I was going through hell while dealing with this process but then i realized it was a blessing that it was found. I am very grateful for my health today and I will always be. I also want to thank everyone who stuck with me through this and uplifted me as I was down. I want to thank my family and friends for everything they did also .. this year has been a big struggle and I’m still finding my way back into things.. love ?? 1 year healthy.. 261 days since cleared to start training again.. the comeback still coming
Shareef was reportedly a four-star Rivals.com recruit out of Crossroads High School in the Los Angeles area, where he averaged 27 points per game as a senior. The sophomore had averaged 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in just more than 10 minutes per game.
What are your thoughts on Shareef’s transfer? Tell us in the comments!