Shareef O'Neal

Shareef Rashaun O'Neal (born January 11, 2000) is an American college basketball player for the UCLA Bruins of the Pac-12 Conference. He attended Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California. As a senior forward, he was ranked among the top high school basketball players of his class. O'Neal began playing with Windward School in his hometown of Los Angeles. He is the son of Hall of Fame player Shaquille O'Neal.

Shareef O'Neal
O'Neal in December 2017
No. 22 UCLA Bruins
PositionPower forward
LeaguePac-12 Conference
Personal information
Born (2000-01-11) January 11, 2000
Los Angeles, California
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school
CollegeUCLA (2019–present)

Early life

Born in Los Angeles, O'Neal is the son of former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Shaquille O'Neal and Shaunie O'Neal. He has two older half-siblings, Taahirah, and Myles, and three younger siblings: Amirah, Shaqir, and Me'ara. Despite his father's basketball fame, Shareef grew up without a passion for the game and preferred skateboarding.[1] His interest in basketball grew after he had a disappointing performance at a middle school Amateur Athletic Union game and was prompted to "prove everybody wrong" on the court.[1] At age 13, O'Neal began training regularly and was able to dunk.[1]

High school career

Starting in his freshman season, O'Neal played basketball for Windward School in Los Angeles at the forward position.[2] His highlight videos immediately helped him gain popularity on the Internet and appeared in The Washington Post.[3][4] However, he received limited playing time because the team's six seniors earned the most minutes.[5] Head coach Steve Smith viewed O'Neal's first season with Windward as a "learning year" and expected him to assume a larger role in the following season.[5] At the end of the season, he was averaging 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.[6] In May 2015, O'Neal received a scholarship offer from USC, his first from an NCAA Division I program.[7] In the following months, he had additional offers from Baylor, LSU, UCLA, and Kansas State.[8]

O'Neal remained with Windward as a sophomore and saw significant improvement. In October 2015, at a tournament in Fairfax High School that featured many top high school teams in the nation, O'Neal scored 23 points in a loss to Bishop Alemany.[9] O'Neal, in December, drew attention from scouts at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic despite his team's struggles.[10] He became known as a versatile swingman with ball-handling, shooting, and defending skills.[11]

On June 29, 2016, the Los Angeles Times announced that O'Neal would transfer to Crossroads School in Santa Monica.[12][13] He joined the team expected to take a leading role with top high school recruit Ira Lee.[14] On January 6, 2017, O'Neal scored 15 points in a 54–50 win over Brentwood.[14] In a 44–80 loss to Mater Dei on February 17, he scored 20 points in a matchup with Bol Bol, son of former NBA player Manute Bol.[15]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Shareef O'Neal
PF
Los Angeles, CA Crossroads School (CA) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Feb 27, 2018 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout: N/A   Rivals:   247Sports:    ESPN:   ESPN grade: 89
Overall recruiting rankings:   Rivals: 40  247Sports: 52  ESPN: 32
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "UCLA 2018 Basketball Commitments". Rivals.com. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  • "2018 UCLA Bruins Recruiting Class". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  • "2018 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved August 26, 2018.

    College career

    In April 2017, O'Neal committed to play college basketball for Arizona.[16] On February 24, 2018, he decommitted from Arizona immediately following allegations by ESPN that FBI wiretaps had intercepted phone conversations between Arizona coach Sean Miller and an agent discussing paying $100,000 to ensure star player Deandre Ayton signed with Arizona. Because he signed a nonbinding financial aid agreement with Arizona instead of a formal letter of intent, he did not require a release from Arizona to seek out a new school.[17] O'Neal verbally committed to UCLA on February 27,[18] but he did not sign a National Letter of Intent during the signing period that ended on May 16.[19] He signed with the Bruins in August.[20]

    During practices over the summer, O'Neal "felt funny", and was given a heart monitor by doctors to wear. On September 28, 2018, UCLA announced that he would miss the 2018–19 season but remain enrolled at the school as a medical redshirt. He was diagnosed with a heart condition by the UCLA medical staff,[21] and underwent surgery in December.[22] He played in the Drew League over the summer, and later in the Bruins' exhibition game. He wore a monitoring device during practice for post-surgery research on his heart, but did not wear it during games.[22] He made his UCLA debut in the 2019–20 season opener, playing six minutes without scoring against Long Beach State.[23]

    References

    1. Ferguson, Ashton (July 28, 2017). "Son of Shaq: Shareef O'Neal creates own path". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    2. Hickman, Jason (December 12, 2014). "See Shaquille O'Neal's son Shareef in action for Windward". MaxPreps.com. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    3. Gayomali, Chris (May 14, 2015). "Shaq's High School Freshman Son Is 6'8" and Already a Mixtape God". GQ. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    4. Boren, Cindy (May 13, 2015). "Shaq's 6-7 son Shareef is really good at basketball". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    5. Brand, Steve (December 27, 2014). "Shaq's son has room to grow". UTPreps.com. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    6. Thiry, Lindsey (May 14, 2015). "USC basketball offers Shareef O'Neal a scholarship". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    7. Patterson, Chip (May 14, 2015). "Shaq's son, Shareef O'Neal, receives offer from USC". CBS Sports. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    8. Gershon, Josh (November 9, 2015). "Shaq's Son Shareef O'Neal has 5 Hoops Offers". Scout.com. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    9. "Fairfax one-day basketball tournament: Live updates". Los Angeles Times. October 21, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    10. Bossi, Eric (December 29, 2015). "Shaq's son impresses at Maxpreps Classic". Rivals.com. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    11. Duffy, Thomas (September 4, 2015). "Shaquille O'Neal's 6'8" Son, Shareef, Dominates 15U Tournament in Las Vegas". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    12. Sondheimer, Eric (June 29, 2016). "Shareef O'Neal is headed to Crossroads". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    13. Goodman, Jeff (July 6, 2016). "Shaq's son transferring to Crossroads". Santa Monica Daily Press. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    14. Sondheimer, Eric (January 6, 2017). "Shareef O'Neal helps Crossroads hold off Brentwood, 54-50". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    15. Gordon, Leland (February 17, 2017). "Sons of Shaquille O'Neal, Manute Bol meet in Southern California playoff game". MaxPreps.com. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    16. Axson, Scooby (April 19, 2017). "Shaquille O'Neal's son, Shareef, commits to Arizona". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
    17. Borzello, Jeff (February 24, 2018). "Arizona commit Shareef O'Neal, Shaquille's son, opens recruitment amid probe". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
    18. Borzello, Jeff (February 27, 2018). "Shareef O'Neal commits to UCLA after decommitting from Arizona". ESPN.
    19. Nguyen, Thuc Thi (May 30, 2018). "Cody Riley withdraws from NBA draft, joining Hands, Wilkes back at UCLA". Los Angeles Daily News.
    20. Bolch, Ben (August 6, 2018). "UCLA announces the signing of Shareef O'Neal, Shaquille's son". Los Angeles Times.
    21. Bolch, Ben (September 28, 2018). "UCLA's Shareef O'Neal will miss entire season because of heart condition". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
    22. Bolch, Ben (November 4, 2019). "Shareef O'Neal is ready and healthy enough to make UCLA debut". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
    23. "Cronin wins UCLA debut as Bruins rally past Long Beach State". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 7, 2019. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
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