Father of 6, Shaquille O’Neal Exudes Immense Pride in Heartfelt Note for 24YO Son on Special Day

Published 01/11/2024, 9:39 AM EST

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Shaquille O’Neal never fails to show his love for his children. As Shareef O’Neal, his eldest son from his ex-wife Shaunie Henderson, celebrates his birthday today, the Los Angeles Lakers legend took to social media to share a heartwarming video of the two. Although the former UCLA player found himself in the hospital when he was 18, he turns 24 today and is looking healthier than ever.

happy birthday @shareefoneal so proud of you my man. we bout to do big things SON,” wrote the 4x champion. Shareef O’Neal replied to the post, saying, “Love you pops!🫶🏾 my dawg !


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Shareef’s basketball career did not pan out as expected after his diagnosis with a congenital heart defect. But he has fought his way back after having open heart surgery and recently played with the NBA G League Ignite team for the 2022–23 season.

Shaq is happy with everything the young basketball player has achieved so far in life. His younger brother Shaqir O’Neal, who is 20 years old, also wrote on Instagram, “happy bday big bro!” while sharing an image of the two from their younger days.

As Shareef develops further and builds up his strength, it won’t be long before he makes a return to one of the NBA teams. But did you know Shareef O’Neal was interested in another sport while growing up?

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Shaquille O’Neal’s basketball legacy did not easily influence his son

During his younger days, Shareef O’Neal had a passion for skateboarding. While many hoped that Shareef would be pursuing basketball just like his father, he did not take it seriously when he was young.

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But a failure during a competition changed everything for Shareef. After losing a middle school amateur athletic union game, Shareef O’Neal shifted his focus toward basketball. He wanted to be as good as or even better than his father.

He soon learned how to dunk the ball, and since then he has been extremely focused on his goal of one day surpassing his father. Shaquille O’Neal also has high praise for his son. He once described him as “Giannis with a jump shot.” While it is good to see that Shaq is ready to support his son all the way, only time will tell if Shareef has what it takes to make his way back to the NBA.


Written by:

Rijin Varghese


One take at a time

I did not follow the traditional route to become a journalist, but my love for basketball and writing has brought me here. Seeing LeBron James? Cleveland Cavaliers make the iconic comeback from a 1-3 deficit in 2016 changed everything for a young engineering aspirant within me. Rather than simply looking at the game, I love to analyze how each player contributes to a team using BPM (Box Plus Minus) and other advanced metrics.
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Edited by:

Caroline Joseph