Will Shareef O’Neal Follow in His Father Shaquille O’Neal’s Footsteps and Make It to the NBA?

Published 04/24/2021, 6:30 PM EDT


The NBA has had a lot of father and son combinations over the years. For sons, the pressure is a lot higher when their fathers were top players. And in case of LSU Tigers’ Shareef O’Neal, the pressure doesn’t get any bigger.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Son of Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, Shareef’s basketball journey has already been arduous. After growing up with heart problems in 2018, O’Neal had to undergo an open heart surgery. That forced him to sit out his freshman season, and he had to slowly make his return while being monitored.

Finally he was cleared to play for the 2019-20 season, but he barely featured for the UCLA Bruins. He played 13 games, all off the bench, and averaged 10 minutes per game. So after just one season, he decided to transfer. He moved to his father’s alma mater, the LSU Tigers, in hopes of better prospects.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

O’Neal had a similar season, playing just 10 games off the bench, averaging 14 minutes per game. This season, he also suffered injury problems, which made it worse. He finished the season averaging 2.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting just 37% from the field.

DIVE DEEPER

LSU Tigers’ Shareef O’Neal Reveals His Journey of Overcoming Heart Problems From the Age of Five

about 2 months ago

Shareef O’Neal needs to improve soon

Being the son of a Hall of Famer may be useful for college recruitment, but beyond that, O’Neal has to carve his own path. And so far, it isn’t looking good for him.

He transferred to LSU with hopes to put behind his forgetful season at UCLA. But sadly that didn’t go according to plan and he had a very similar season. After a medical redshirt in his first season, the 21-year-old is still a junior heading into the 2021-22 season. So he now has two more seasons to prove himself.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

If he is unable to make the most out of these two years and improve, his chances of being drafted will diminish. He is already hanging by a thread, and a lack of improvement will close the door on his NBA dream.

O’Neal will have to find a new destination if he is unable to secure a bigger role this season. Fans are eager to see him succeed, especially after all he has been through. They will now be rooting for him to make a comeback and find his place in the NBA.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Shaquille O’Neal Praises Gonzaga Bulldogs’ Drew Timme; Compares Son Shareef O’Neal to Him

about 1 month ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaron Mathew

1542 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT