The O’Neal family recently received heartbreaking news, and right now, our prayers and thoughts are with them.
Basketball Wives creator Shaunie O’Neal and NBA great Shaquille O’Neal are currently very worried about their 18-year-old son Shareef. In case you guys didn’t know, Shareef was one of the top high school basketball players during his senior year. His future collegiate basketball career with UCLA was the subject of considerable excitement this year.
Unfortunately, the 18-year-old has just courageously disclosed that UCLA’s medical staff has discovered that he has a significant heart condition, necessitating immediate open-heart surgery.
At a basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers where Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s jersey was retired at Staples Center on December 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California, Peter Guber, Co-Executive Chairman of the Golden State Warriors and Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, speaks to former Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal and his son Shareef O’Neal.
In a recent interview with TMZ, he spoke forward to share his future intentions and gave the crew credit for “saving his life.” He will be a “normal student” during his whole freshman season due to having to sit out the full season:
O’Neal Shareef, “So, the other day, during a normal examination, we discovered a medical problem involving my heart. I will not be playing this season and will instead be a medical red shirt thanks to the UCLA medical staff’s quick discovery of the problem.
He went on:
“I’ll be off for a while, focusing on my studies and, of course, my health, and I’ll just be observing [the team] to be the best player I [can] be next year,” the athlete said.
Shareef wants people to know that even though his heart surgery will need him to “be out for a couple of months,” it won’t affect his career:
“Many individuals are asking if this will terminate their careers. Absolutely not; it’s simply a minor setback and I’ll be back shortly. I’ll continue to go to class and behave normally while in treatment.
He took a moment to express gratitude to his fans and to be open about how depressed he feels right now as a result of the news, as well as how hopeful he is for the future:
I want to express my gratitude to UCLA, my family, my teammates, and everyone else who has supported me in my choice. And I just want to emphasize to all the students that success does not always come easily. You have to experience some abrasions and bruises, you know.
It won’t always be simple. I’m a little depressed since it feels like I was at the height of my basketball career entering my freshman year and coming off of my high school’s state championship. When this occurred, I felt like I was at the top of my game and only wanted to get better. So for the time being, I’m simply trying to prioritize my health.
Shareef and his family may be struggling, but we applaud that young brother for maintaining his composure in the face of adversity. Looking forward to seeing him reach new heights as he recovers from his heart operation and sending him good vibes.