arizona by Mukwele Mboh February 5, 2018
Shareef O’Neal, son of the NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, recently made his commitment to the University of Arizona, surprising some and also notably not choosing his father’s Alma Mater Louisiana State University.
Shareef spent a majority of his time living in his father’s shadow and has been constantly trying to pave his own in the world of basketball.
His game is naturally compared to his father’s dominant style of play on the court from his posterizing dunks on defenders and his insane rebounding capabilities on both sides of the court.
These are the talents that got Shaq into the hall of fame, a path that Shareef intends to follow in his own way. Earlier on in his basketball career Shareef was labeled a bust due to not having his father’s dominating physique and style of play.
However, he never let it get to him and let his individual style of play shine through and that is what has led him to become such a great basketball player in high school.
He used the criticism as motivation factor to elevate his game and plays with a chip on his shoulder every time he is on the court.
During the summer he got a chance to play basketball with Quavo of the Migos and it was very intense game, full of trash talk and alley-oops. The game got so intense that Shareef and Quavo had to meet up two other times to settle the score.
The games feature top high school basketball players like Bol Bol and Ron Artest III just to name a few. Ultimately, Huncho pulled out on top but it was a very close game.
Shareef’s style of play is very different from his father’s. He is able to rebound and viciously dunk just like his dad but he has also developed an excellent jump shot that is lethal from anywhere on the court.
Another quality that sets Shareef apart from his dad is his ability to make free throws. It was his dad’s kryptonite but a weakness that Shareef has overcome and strengthened.
Throughout Shareef’s high school career he has been constantly overlooked.
People look at him as if he is an underdog compared to other player like Zion Williamson, Michael Porter Jr., Marvin Bagley, and many of the hottest prospects in basketball. But Shareef is just as talented and dangerous on the court as the players listed above.
Shareef has shown that he has tremendous talent finishing around the basket, defenders don’t stand a chance guarding him in the paint, and he can also mix it up and take his defender to the perimeter.
Despite his diverse basketball skill set he was still denied a spot to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game where the top high school basketball players in the country compete against each other.
LeBron James was kind enough to offer words of encouragement and inspiration to young Shareef, assuring him that he should not be discouraged by this rejection and should instead work harder towards his dream of being in the NBA.
Nephew listen, Even though we all know you should have made that McDonalds game use it as motivation to prove not to those who didn’t vote you in, not to those who is actually in the game but more importantly to yourself that u belong! Keep grinding, studying and working daily! The light is always brighter at the end of the tunnel. #striveforgreatness🚀 #familyties✊🏾 @shareefoneal
Shareef, however, was not outwardly bummed out that he wasn’t chosen for the McDonald’s All American game and congratulated players that were chosen on his Instagram and left it at that.
Shareef has a promising basketball career ahead of him, already committed to the University of Arizona he has the opportunity to show up and show out at the college level.
He seems to be a level headed kid that is not shaken easily be adversity and is laser focused on finishing his last year playing high school basketball.
Now setting his sights on working his way into NBA, we can’t wait to see the accomplishments and accolades he collects along the way to living his dream.
Here some highlights if you still need convincing.