Shaquille O'Neal's Son Shareef Announces Decision to Transfer from UCLA

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2020

UCLA forward Shareef O'Neal shoots against Stanford during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

UCLA forward Shareef O'Neal, the son of Hall of Fame center Shaquille O'Neal, announced his intention to transfer Wednesday.

"After meeting with Shareef on Tuesday, he told me that he plans to transfer. We fully support his decision and are wishing him all the best," UCLA coach Mike Cronin said in a statement.

O'Neal, a freshman, averaged 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 13 games this season. He returned to the Bruins after missing the entire 2018-19 season after undergoing surgery for a preexisting heart condition.

A 4-star recruit out of Crossroads in Los Angeles, O'Neal was the No. 41 overall recruit and eighth-ranked power forward in the 2018 class.

It's unclear what schools O'Neal may consider in the aftermath of his transfer; Kentucky was considered a favorite before he made his decision. O'Neal originally committed to Arizona before flipping to UCLA. It's likely he'll look for a destination where he can get more playing time after failing to find a consistent role in Cronin's rotation.

Steve Alford was UCLA's coach when O'Neal committed but was fired in December 2018.

A lanky big with fluid movement and the ability to stretch the floor out to the mid range, O'Neal should not lack in suitors from Power Five conferences. He could look for a school that is likely to recruit his brother, 2021 guard Shaqir O'Neal.

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