The O’Neal family has recently received devastating news, and our thoughts and prayers are definitely with them at this time.
Shaquille O’Neal, a legend in the NBA, and Shaunie O’Neal, his ex-wife, and creator of Basketball Wives, are extremely concerned about their 18-year-old son Shareef right now. Shareef was one of the most sought-after high school basketball players during his senior season, in case you hadn’t heard. This year, his upcoming college basketball career with UCLA received a lot of attention.
Sadly, the 18-year-old bravely announced that UCLA medical staff had discovered a serious heart condition and that he needed major heart surgery.
When former Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal and his son Shareef O’Neal attend a basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 18, 2017, in Los Angeles, California, where Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s jersey was retired, Peter Guber, Co-Executive Chairman of the Golden State Warriors and Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, talks to them.
He acknowledges the staff for ‘saving his life’ and stood up during another meeting with TMZ to declare his arrangements proceeding. He will have to miss the entire freshman season, during which he will be a “normal student”:
According to Shareef O’Neal, “So, the other day during a routine check-up, we found a medical issue involving my heart.” I will not play this season and will wear a medical red shirt—thank goodness the UCLA medical staff discovered it early.
He went on:
“During this time off, I’ll be off for a while, I’ll be focusing on my academics, my health, and just watching [the team] to be the best player I can be next year,”
Even though Shareef acknowledges that he is aware that his heart surgery will require him to “be out for a couple of months,” he wishes for people to be aware that this will not hinder his career:
A lot of people are wondering if this is the end of their careers. By no means, it’s only a tad temporary obstacle and I’ll be back in a matter of seconds. I will continue to attend school as usual during my rehabilitation.
He took a moment to express his gratitude to his supporters and his sincere sadness over the news, as well as his optimism for the future:
I’d like to express my gratitude to UCLA, my family, my teammates, and everyone else who has helped me make this decision. Additionally, I just want to remind all of the children that the path to success will not always be straight. You have to go through some ups and downs, you know.
“It won’t always be easy. I’m feeling a little down; it seems like I was at my best in basketball coming into my freshman year after my high school won the state championship. I had the impression that I was at my best and just trying to improve, but then this happened. Thus, I’m simply putting forth a valiant effort to zero in on my well-being at present.”
This must have been difficult for Shareef and his family, but we applaud that young brother for being able to keep his head held high in the face of this difficulty. After he recovers from his heart surgery, I look forward to watching him soar to new heights and sending him positive energy.