Shaq's Large Teenage Son Will Miss Freshman Year At UCLA Due To Heart Surgery

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Well, here’s some rotten news: Shareef O’Neal, the hooping son of Shaquille O’Neal, will be forced to medical redshirt his freshman season at UCLA after doctors reportedly discovered a heart ailment during an otherwise routine checkup.

Shareef told TMZ Sports that he “felt funny” during practice shortly after arriving at UCLA, an experience he’d never had while playing basketball in high school:

“I told the trainer, and they made me wear a heart monitor. If I had a problem I’d press the button, and then one of the practices I did, I felt something again. I pressed the button and a couple weeks later I found out that I have—I forgot what the name is called, it’s a long name, but I know it’s something serious, and it’s pretty risky.”

Shareef has already had an annoying start to his college basketball career. He originally committed to Arizona, but eventually withdrew and moved on to UCLA when Arizona head coach Sean Miller was caught up in a recruiting scandal via the FBI’s investigation into college hoops, an episode that cost Arizona most of its 2018 recruiting class. Shareef is considered a top recruit, and as such was expected to be both a star at UCLA and a one-and-done college player. Thankfully, he sounds very confident in the video that the heart condition is not career-threatening.