Heart trouble slows hoops rise of Shaq's son Shareef
LOS ANGELES, USA – Shareef O'Neal, son of former NBA great Shaquille O'Neal, will have heart surgery, putting his promising college basketball career on hold.
The 18-year-old O'Neal was poised to launch his freshman season with the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) when doctors detected the heart ailment during a routine physical.
O'Neal did not give specifics of the trouble, and UCLA announced only that he would not play this season because of a medical issue.
"Thank God the UCLA medical staff caught it early," the rising star told TMZ. "I'll be back in no time."
He told the website that after talking with his famous father and his mother Shaunie O'Neal he will attend classes this year and be "a normal student."
He vowed to resume his basketball career in 2019.
"A lot of people are asking if it's career ending," he told TMZ. "The answer is absolutely not. Just a little bump in the road."
Shareef O'Neal is one of six children of NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, the 1999-2000 NBA Most Valuable Player. He won 4 NBA titles – 3 straight with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and one with the Miami Heat in 2006.
Blessed to be here living today, one of those moments on the court could’ve been my last... I will be back basketball world .. just wait on me I’ll miss you this year but you will always be with me https://t.co/YP4zZwg1FF— Shareef O’Neal (@SSJreef) September 28, 2018