Shaq’s Son Shareef O’Neal Announces He’s Leaving UCLA


Shareef O’Neal, the oldest son of NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, has announced his decision to transfer from UCLA. The Bruins freshman, who missed all of last year after undergoing heart surgery, averaged just 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 13 games this season.

O’Neal didn’t give a specific reason for his decision, nor did he reveal which school he intends to enroll at next. That said, he made sure to thank the University, Bruins fans, and former head coach Steve Alford who recruited him to UCLA in 2018.

His statement reads, in part:

“My parents have always taught me that transparency is the best form of communication. It is in this spirit I announced today my departure from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).”

“I’m looking forward to the next chapter, whatever that may be. And a very special thanks to the UCLA fans for your continued support these past two years. You truly have been the strength that sustained me.” 

“I would like to give special thanks to Coach Steve Alford who recruited me here, Coach Cronin for developing me, and the awesome medical staff for giving me a second chance at fulfilling my dreams of playing on the next level. A part of my heart will always be at UCLA figuratively and literally.”

The 20-year old forward was highly recruited in the Class of 2018 and had drawn interest from Kentucky as well as Arizona. In fact, he had originally committed to Arizona before changing his mind and signing with UCLA. We’ll have to wait and see where he’ll get his next opportunity. 

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