Shaquille O'Neal's Son Shareef Receives Immediate Eligibility Waiver at LSU

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 18, 2020

UCLA's Shareef O'Neal, right, gets pressure from Notre Dame's Nate Laszewski during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame won 75-61. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
Robert Franklin/Associated Press

LSU forward Shareef O'Neal, who transferred from UCLA in February, has received a waiver from the NCAA to begin playing immediately for the Tigers.

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports first reported the news Wednesday. O'Neal soon confirmed it on Twitter.

O'Neal is the son of former LSU star and NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal. He missed the entire 2018-19 season because of a heart condition that required surgery, which was successful. O'Neal received a medical redshirt.

In the interim, UCLA underwent a coaching change with Cincinnati's Mick Cronin replacing the fired Steve Alford in April 2019. O'Neal played sparingly last year, averaging 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game. He announced his decision to leave on January 22.

It looks like he'll have a greater impact on the Tigers' rotation based off head coach Will Wade's comments on Off the Bench Wednesday (h/t Billy Embody of 247Sports).

"Shareef has just been playing tremendously. We had our last scrimmage yesterday. Rebounded the ball well. He can really, really help us. Been very, very pleased with his growth. He's an unbelievably talented player. You look at where he was coming out of high school, just hadn't played a lot in two years because of the surgeries and different situations and circumstances, he just hasn't played a lot, but boy now that he's starting to get the feel and in practice, he can really, really shoot the ball.

"I would equate him to Aaron Epps, who we had our first year. Just an offensive rebounder, shooter, mixes it up. I think that's a good comparison for him."

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247Sports ranked O'Neal, who went to Crossroads School in Los Angeles, as the No. 8 power forward and 41st-best prospect in the class of 2018 on its composite list. He had previously signed a letter of intent with Arizona before decommitting and agreeing to join the Bruins.

LSU's season is scheduled to begin next Wednesday in Lincoln, Nebraska, at the Golden Window Tournament against the University of San Francisco.