The bond between a loving mother and her son is unmatched. College basketball star Shareef O'Neal has endured much in the last year, and every step of the way, his mom Shaunie O'Neal has never waivered. The 19-year-old UCLA player underwent open-heart surgery in December 2018, and from the hospital bed, he had a family member share on social media that he was on the road to recovery. 

"I made it,Thank you for all the love and support!" the message said. "I really appreciate all your thoughts and prayers, that’s what helped me through this surgery. I’m on the road to recovery, and I’ll be back soon...better than ever." Shareef's rehabilitation has been a long road, but the hoop star returned to the court back in June.

It was a frightening period for the O'Neal family as Shaunie openly shared on her show, Basketball Wives L.A. To pay tribute to his parents, Shareef has inked them permanently on his skin, beginning with a piece he received in the first week of July. It's an image that he holds close to his heart: Shaq wearing a Lakers jersey, pointing into the distance. It's an important shot because back in 2017, Shaq stated that after he dunked on his opponent, he was sharing the moment with his newborn son, Shareef, who was in the stands.

"MAN, this picture always had a very special meaning to me , my dad pointing to me after he catches the lob," Shareef wrote. "I believe this is how my basketball powers came , the classic point.. !! BIG THANKS TO THE GREAT@stevewiebe for making this come alive Thank you !!! Portrait of my mama coming soon."

Three weeks later, Shareef has delivered on his promise and Shaunie shared a photo of her portrait as her son's latest tattoo. The proud mother wrote in the caption that she was speechless and Shareef responded with "Love you mama ❤️❤️."