Shaq's Daughter To Announce College Commitment This Weekend

Me'Arah, the #33 player in next year's recruiting class, will declare for one of eight colleges.

BYBen Mock
Colorado v LSU

Me'Arah O'Neal, the daughter of NBA legend Shaq, is set to announce her college commitment this weekend in Houston. The news came as part of a lengthy ESPN profile about O'Neal's journey as a player and her fight to leave her father's shadow. Earlier this year, O'Neal revealed her eight finalists to be Arizona State, Baylor, Cal, Georgia Tech, Florida, Kentucky, LSU, and Tennessee. She will reveal her final decision at The Dream Center, the community center attached to her stepfather's church. Reportedly, she told her father over lunch which school she intended to declare for earlier this week.

While O'Neal has her decision from a field of eight, she was initially approached by essentially every top program in the country. O'Neal is #33 on ESPN's Top 100 recruits for 2024. Furthermore, she is just one of nine recruits in the top 50 who are yet to declare for a college. "The word 'elite' is a little overused. But if you're talking elite, she's elite. There's no question," said ESPN's director of recruiting analysis Shane Laflin.

Read More: Royce Reed Claims Shaq Used To “Curse Her Out” For Ignoring Him While He Was Married To Shaunie

O'Neal Eyes Pro Basketball

Due to WNBA eligibility rules, O'Neal won't be able to declare for the draft until 2028. However, she's made it clear that it's a step she wants to take. "I wanna make it to the WNBA. I wanna hold my own name, I wanna just be the best basketball player that I could be. Just reach my full potential and get a championship, make All-Star. Do all the big stuff and eventually make the Hall of Fame," O'Neal said. Additionally, it's a goal that her father believes is completely possible. "If she keeps it up, she will definitely be in the history books," Shaq told ESPN.

It's still unclear where O'Neal's ceiling is. However, both her brothers and her coach think she's one of the next big things for women's basketball. "I've seen it [her game] develop tremendously. Because when we were kids, we'd always go at it. And like I said, I'd rough her up," noted her brother Shaqir, who plays for Texas Southern. "We haven't seen the best of her yet, like, not even close. I think we're just scratching the surface. She's just starting to blossom. ... But we'll see some amazing things," added her private coach, ex-NBAer Moochie Norris.

Read More: Shaq Dresses As Emo Jimmy Butler For Halloween Episode Of Inside The NBA


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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.