UCLA freshman Shareef O'Neal, son of Shaquille O'Neal, to undergo heart surgery

Four-star recruit Shareef O’Neal, the son of basketball hall of famer Shaquille O’Neal, will miss his freshman season at UCLA after doctors discovered a heart ailment, the school announced on Friday.

“Freshman Shareef O’Neal will be sidelined for the 2018-19 season (medical),” UCLA said in a statement. “He will remain enrolled in class and on the men’s basketball team during this redshirt year. The UCLA men’s basketball program completely supports Shareef and his family as he gets this issue resolved.”

In an interview with TMZ Sports, the 18-year-old said he was undergoing a routine physical when doctors discovered the undisclosed medical issue. He will undergo heart surgery “in the near future.”

“Thank God the UCLA medical staff caught it early,” Shareef O’Neal added.

O’Neal told TMZ Sports that he plans to return to basketball in 2019 after redshirting his freshman campaign, and he will attend classes at UCLA in the meantime.

One of five top-100 recruits in UCLA’s 2018 recruiting class, O’Neal averaged 27 points per game as a prep senior, leading Windward School in Los Angeles to California’s Division II state championship. The 6-foot-9 power forward is believed to have NBA potential.

14 PHOTOS
Shareef O’Neal
See Gallery
Shareef O’Neal
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - April 08: Shareef O'Neal #22 Crossroads School, Santa Monica, CA in action during the Jordan Brand Classic, National Boys Teams All-Star basketball game. The Jordan Brand Classic showcases the best male and female high school basketball players who compete in the exhibition games at the The Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York on April 08, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 25: Shaquille O'Neal (R) hugs his son Shareef O'Neal (L) at the Jordan Brand Future of Flight Showcase on January 25, 2018 in Studio City, California. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 11: Shareef O'Neal looks on prior to the game between the Miami Marlins and the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on May 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Shareef O'Neal poses with assistant coach Thomas Scott after Crossroads of Santa Monica, Calif., won the CIF State Division II championship on March 23, 2018. (Ailene Voisin/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)
STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 25: Shaunie O'Neal (L) poses with her son Shareef O'Neal (R) at the Jordan Brand Future of Flight Showcase on January 25, 2018 in Studio City, California. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 25: Shareef O'Neal shoots the ball during the 2018 Brand Jordan NBA All-Star Uniforms & All-Star Rosters Unveiling show on January 25, 2018 at CBS Studios in Studio City, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 25: Shaquille O'Neal (L) poses with his son Shareef O'Neal (R) at the Jordan Brand Future of Flight Showcase on January 25, 2018 in Studio City, California. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 25: Shareef O'Neal smiles during the 2018 Brand Jordan NBA All-Star Uniforms & All-Star Rosters Unveiling show on January 25, 2018 at CBS Studios in Studio City, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 25: Shareef O'Neal (L) talks to his father Shaquille O'Neal (R) at the Jordan Brand Future of Flight Showcase on January 25, 2018 in Studio City, California. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - April 08: Shareef O'Neal #22 Crossroads School, Santa Monica, CA in action during the Jordan Brand Classic, National Boys Teams All-Star basketball game. The Jordan Brand Classic showcases the best male and female high school basketball players who compete in the exhibition games at the The Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York on April 08, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 25: Shareef O'Neal (C) poses with his parents Shaquille O'Neal (L) and Shaunie O'Neal (R) at the Jordan Brand Future of Flight Showcase on January 25, 2018 in Studio City, California. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - April 08: Shareef O'Neal #22 Crossroads School, Santa Monica, CA in action during the Jordan Brand Classic, National Boys Teams All-Star basketball game. The Jordan Brand Classic showcases the best male and female high school basketball players who compete in the exhibition games at the The Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York on April 08, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 25: Fans run on the court to celebrate the game winning shot of Shareef O'Neal of Crossroads High school against Beverly Hills High school at the Jordan Brand Future of Flight Showcase on January 25, 2018 in Studio City, California. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 25: Shareef O'Neal stands on the court during the 2018 Brand Jordan NBA All-Star Uniforms & All-Star Rosters Unveiling show on January 25, 2018 at CBS Studios in Studio City, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

– – – – – – –

Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

More from Yahoo Sports:

Panthers sign S Eric Reid, longtime Kap ally
Ex-NBAer Chris Dudley defends former classmate Brett Kavanaugh
Ohio State gets blasted for posting ‘Silence’ graphic on Twitter
Rick Reilly confounds Justin Thomas with awkward Ryder Cup question




 

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.