Shareef O'Neal follows in his father's footsteps, officially transfers to LSU


Shareef O’Neal is finally following in his father’s footsteps.

O’Neal, the son of NBA Hall of Famer and former Tigers star Shaquille O’Neal, officially signed with LSU on Wednesday after transferring from UCLA.

Shaq spent three seasons at LSU from 1989-1992, and averaged 21.6 points and 13.5 rebounds per game throughout his collegiate career. The current NBA analyst even has a statue outside of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

“The name ‘O’Neal’ is a part of LSU basketball history and we look forward to Shareef starting his own path at LSU,” coach Will Wade said in a statement. “Shareef has the ability to impact a game with his tremendous offensive rebound acumen and his ability to stretch the defense with his shot.”

O’Neal was a four-star recruit out of Crossroads High School in the Los Angeles area, where he averaged 27 points per game as a senior. He announced he was transferring from UCLA after just 13 games this season. The sophomore had averaged 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in just more than 10 minutes per game.

O’Neal missed his freshman season with the Bruins with a medical redshirt after he was diagnosed with a right anomalous coronary artery and had to undergo open-heart surgery. The heart issue was discovered during a routine physical, something his mother said likely saved his life.

He has hinted that he was going to land at LSU for quite some time, too.

“LSU was one of the first schools that recruited me,” O’Neal told Bleacher Report last week. “I feel like when I went there to visit it was like home. The people there, they didn’t really talk about my dad one time. That’s kind of is what stood out to me. Even though there’s a statue [of him] outside the stadium, they didn't say, ‘We want you to be your dad. We want you to be better than your dad.’ They were like, ‘We want you to be Shareef. The people here love you.’

“The LSU family is just, they were just really supportive. I feel like that was the best option for me.”

Shareef O'Neal has officially transferred to LSU, where his dad Shaq kicked off his basketball career.
Shareef O'Neal has officially transferred to LSU, where his dad Shaq kicked off his basketball career. (AP/Chris Carlson)

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