Yes, Shaq's son plays for LSU. Here's 5 quick facts about Tigers forward Shareef O'Neal
It was announced Nov. 18, 2020, that Shareef O'Neal was granted immediate eligibility for the 2020-21 college basketball season after transferring to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from UCLA.
"I was waiting and scared it wasn't gonna happen," Shareef O'Neal tweeted. "Thank you so much."
Here is some basic information about Shareef O'Neal.
- Full name: Shareef Rashaun O'Neal
- Height: 6 feet, 10 inches
- Weight: 225 pounds
- Age: 20 years old
- Birthdate: Jan. 11, 2000
- Hometown: Los Angeles, California
- High Schools: Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California; Windward School in Los Angeles
Here are five more things to know about Shareef O'Neal.
Is Shareef O'Neal related to Shaq? Of course
Shareef O'Neal's parents are Shaquille and Shaunie O'Neal.
Shaquille O'Neal on TNT:See Shaquille O'Neal heckled for showing up late to TNT pregame show for NBA restart
Shareef O'Neal stats at UCLA
He sat out the 2018-19 season as a redshirt.
During the 2019-20 season, he played 13 games and averaged 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game. He also had nine turnovers, four steals, three assists and three blocked shots.
O'Neal announced on Jan. 22, 2020, that he would be transferring from the UCLA team. In his final UCLA game against Stanford on Jan. 15, 2020, O'Neal had one point and three rebounds in seven minutes.
Why did Shareef O'Neal have open-heart surgery?
On Dec. 13, 2018, Shareef O'Neal had open-heart surgery to repair a right anomalous coronary artery, according to the Los Angeles Times. It's a heart defect where an artery grew in the wrong place.
"[It's] an artery that just grows in the wrong place," said Shaunie O'Neal, Shareef's mom, on the show "Basketball Wives" in a quote reported by ESPN. "He was born with it. He could've died from it. They let us know Shareef needed open-heart surgery. That made my heart break."
He was held out of workouts until May 2019.
“The recovery was hard. It was hard to sit around and do nothing for almost a year,” Shareef O'Neal said to the LA Times. “So the mental side I had crazy thoughts in my head [and] people telling me this and that. I had to overcome. Every time I play, I still think about it. Every time I look in the mirror, I have this giant scar on my chest [that’s] going to be there forever.”
Shareef O'Neal's scar down his sternum has led to him being called "Zipper Boy," something he joked about on his Instagram.
Shareef O'Neal originally committed to Arizona
In April 2017, Shareef O'Neal committed to play for the Arizona Wildcats and Sean Miller.
But as information came out about Sean Miller's involvement with Christian Dawkins and an FBI wiretap, O'Neal changed his college plans.
"At this time I am opening up my recruitment due to the current events with the UofA Bball team," O'Neal tweeted, according to The Washington Post. "I would like to thank all the coaches for recruiting me. At the time my family and I think it’s in my best interest to look at other options to assure my play in the NCAA next year."
O'Neal decommitted from Arizona on Feb. 24, 2018, and he announced his commitment to UCLA on Feb. 27, 2018, according to ESPN.
Shareef O'Neal, UCLA guard Jules Bernard were high school teammates
Shareef O'Neal and Jules Bernard both played high school basketball at Windward School in Los Angeles during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. The boys basketball team captured the 2014-15 CIF Southern Section Championship, and Bernard was named the school's 2015-16 Male Athlete of the Year.
O'Neal left Windward to play at Crossroads School for his final two years of high school. The duo played against each other at least once in high school, and O'Neal's Crossroads team won 55-48 in February 2018.
The duo reunited for a couple of seasons at UCLA during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons before O'Neal transferred to LSU.
Read more Shareef O'Neal news:
- Shareef O'Neal:New LSU basketball player Shareef O'Neal shows he isn't ready for Louisiana thunderstorms
- LSU men's basketball:Shareef O'Neal, son of Shaquille O'Neal, transferring to LSU basketball team
- Shareef O'Neal:Shaquille O'Neal son Shareef signs with LSU after transfer from UCLA; Tigers add 3 in all
Here is a link to the Shareef O'Neal bio on the LSU basketball website.
Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik.