The son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal won’t star at LSU like his father did.
Shareef O’Neal has instead committed to Arizona, his AAU team announced on Twitter early Wednesday morning.
— California Supreme (@CalSupremeBball) April 19, 2017
O’Neal, a versatile, high-upside 6-foot-9 forward, is Rivals.com’s 16th-ranked prospect in the 2018 class. The Santa Monica Crossroads High standout chose Arizona from a long list of suitors that included Kentucky, UCLA, USC and his dad’s alma mater LSU.
While O’Neal shares his father’s height, athleticism and facial features, little else about his game bears much resemblance. Shaq dominated around the rim because of his massive size, uncanny strength and nimble footwork. Shareef is a leaner, more multifaceted combo forward capable of hitting an occasional 3-pointer or exploding to the rim off the dribble.
When O’Neal arrives at Arizona in fall 2018, he’ll likely find plenty of frontcourt playing time available. DeAndre Ayton, the centerpiece of Arizona’s 2017 recruiting class, is expected to be a one-and-done prospect. Dusan Ristic and Keanu Pinder will both be seniors next season. Only Chance Comanche might have eligibility remaining, however, it’s no guarantee he’ll still be around in two years since he has already declared for the 2017 NBA draft without hiring an agent.
O’Neal becomes the second five-star prospect in the 2018 class to commit to Arizona, joining heralded small forward Emmanuel Akot. Those two form the foundation of what should be an eighth straight top 10 recruiting class for Wildcats coach Sean Miller.
More video of Shareef O’Neal via Rivals.com:
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