Shareef O'Neal will miss freshman season after doctors discover heart issue.
Shareef O'Neal, son of NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, will miss his freshman season at UCLA after he recently learned of a heart problem that will require surgery. According to TMZ Sports, the 18-year old star was having just a routine checkup when doctors discovered the medical issue.
UCLA released the following statement on Friday: "Freshman Shareef O'Neal will be sidelined for the 2018-19 season (medical). He will remain enrolled in class and on the men's basketball team during this redshirt year. The UCLA men's basketball program completely supports Shareef and his family as he gets this issue resolved."
TMZ reports that O'Neal still plans to attend his classes just like a normal student and has vowed to be back in action for the Bruins next season. Shareef also posted the following on social media today, "Blessed to be here living today, one of those moments on the court could’ve been my last... I will be back basketball world .. just wait on me I’ll miss you this year but you will always be with me."
Shareef, a 6'9 power forward, was one of the top high school basketball players in the country in 2018 and one of five top-100 recruits that committed to the UCLA Bruins. The team is currently ranked 18th in the country.