Shareef O'Neal is going to make it a family legacy at LSU. O'Neal, the son of legendary former Tigers basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, announced on Instagram Friday night that he is transferring to LSU from UCLA
The younger O'Neal averaged 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game during 13 appearances for the Bruins as a redshirt freshman this season before announcing his intent to transfer last month.
O'Neal was considered a four-star prospect and the nation's No. 41 overall player in the Class of 2018 by the 247Sports composite rankings. But the 6-foot-9 forward did not play in the 2018-19 season after undergoing surgery to address a heart problem.
"A part of my heart will always be at UCLA figuratively and literally," O'Neal wrote on Twitter when announcing his intent to transfer. "I'm looking forward to the next chapter, wherever that may be."
Landing O'Neal is another jolt of momentum for Will Wade's program at LSU. The Tigers are on track to make consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time 2005 and 2006. Their 2020 recruiting class is currently ranked No. 9 nationally by 247Sports. Wade also landed a top-10 class in 2018.
Shaquille O'Neal played at LSU from 1989 to 1992 before going on to become a 15-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA champion.
"Real big footsteps (to follow in)," Shareef O'Neal told Sports Illustrated. "But I'm ready for it. Great program. Louisiana is a different scene. I've been in L.A. most of my life. I'm ready for it."