Shareef O’Neal To Undergo Heart Surgery, Will Miss Freshman Season

Shareef O’Neal To Undergo Heart Surgery, Will Miss Freshman Season

Shareef O’Neal, son of Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, will miss his freshman season at UCLA because of a heart problem.

Per TMZ Sports, O’Neal will have surgery to correct the issue that was discovered when UCLA doctors were conducting a routine checkup.

“Thank God the UCLA medical staff caught it early,” O’Neal told TMZ. “During rehab, I’ll be attending my classes and being a normal student. … I’ll be back in no time.”

O’Neal officially signed a letter of intent to play at UCLA in August, adding another marquee name to one of the nation’s best freshman classes for the 2018-19 season.

“Shareef has made great strides throughout his high school career,” Bruins head coach Steve Alford told reporters last month. “He’s an outstanding addition to our incoming class and brings a terrific combination of size, skill and athleticism.

“We love the length and height of this year’s team, and Shareef is really going to add to that dynamic. He has a terrific frame, one that will allow him to continue improving on both sides of the floor.”

O’Neal, 18, is a 4-star prospect who ranked as the No. 8 power forward and No. 41 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class, per 247Sports.

Before committing to UCLA, O’Neal led Crossroads High School to a 25-9 record during his senior season.

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