Shareef O’Neal is living up to his famous lineage.
The teenage son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has been making waves at Winward School in Los Angeles, showing off a dominant set of skills well beyond his age. While Shareef still has a way to go to catch up to his 7-foot-1 father, he is already 6-foot-8 and has a bit more shooting range than his father.
Shareef has started to get attention for his AAU team, including some coverage from national news outlets.
USA Today Sports noted,
“Now we’re starting to see some of the younger O’Neal’s broader skill set. As he showcased at the 2015 Big Cup tournament in Houston, Shareef O’Neal already has far more shooting touch and range than his father ever did. And while he may not be able to bowl opponents over in the paint like his Dad, he has better finesse inside.”
“Keep in mind, this is all being turned in by a freshman member of the California Supreme AAU squad, who had his famous father in the stands for the tournament. You never want to project success for a young athlete, but no one should be doubting Shareef O’Neal at this point … and we don’t even know how big he’s going to grow.”
Shareef O’Neal seems to have the potential to dominate one day, but he’s still adjusting to playing against bigger competition. As a freshman on his school’s varsity team, Shareef averaged just a shade under four points a game to go along with four rebounds.
But he’s already shown flashes of the game that made his dad famous. Shareef is a smooth operator in the low post, and has some vicious two-handed dunks (though he’s yet to destroy any backboards, as his father did twice).
If he does live up to his potential, Shareef O’Neal could join the class of second generation basketball stars that have emerged. The reigning NBA MVP, Steph Curry, is the son of smooth-shooting guard Dell Curry, who has 40 percent of his three-pointers for his career and 84 percent of his free throws. While he never got an MVP award, Dell was named Sixth Man of the Year award for the 1993-94 season.
The NBA has a number of other second generation stars, including Klay Thompson, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Love. Shareef O’Neal might have a long way to go to reach that point, and at least three more years before he even hits college. But even if he doesn’t make it that far, at least along the way his teammates get to have Shaq in the stands cheering them on.
[Image via MaxPreps]