Shareef O’Neal, son of Shaquille, recently received his first of what is expected to be many scholarship offers.
The CBS Sports reported that USC offered the soon to be high school sophomore a basketball scholarship on Thursday. O’Neal, a six-foot-seven athletic wing, went to Twitter to express his appreciation for the offer.
“I am blessed receive an offer from the University of Southern California,” O’Neal said via Twitter.
O’Neal averaged just 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds during his freshman season at Los Angeles Windward School but has been getting rave reviews since Hoop Mixtape released a minute long video. The video footage of O’Neal was from the 2015 Big Cup tournament in Houston, Texas, that O’Neal attended with his AAU team, the California Supreme.
The obvious comparison for O’Neal is his famous dad, who spent 19 years in the NBA with several teams. The younger O’Neal is said to have better hands,passing skills, and a softer touch than his pops. Plus, he is about an inch taller than his dad was at 15-years-old.
California Supreme coach Mike Law told TMZ that he expects Shareef to be just as good as his father. Law added that Shareef possesses an outstanding work ethic.
“One day people will be talking about Shareef the same way they talk about his dad… he’s that gifted. Most kids of superstars just think it’s handed to them, but Shareef worked to get better. Shaq doesn’t want us to show him any favoritism… even though he’s good enough to play up a level.”
However, Shareef has along way to go before any real meaningful comparisons can take place between father and son. He is at least three-to-five years away from realizing his potential and a lot will depend on how much Shareef grows.
Shaquille O’Neal has never seen his son as the same type of player he was. He told Sports Illustrated, during an interview in 2009, that he was encouraging Shareef to study how the Clippers’ Blake Griffin plays the game.
“(Griffin) plays the game like a big man should play — hard-nosed, tough. I really like his game,” Shaq said. “My son is starting to play now, and I don’t like to let him watch players that are really, really fancy. Of course, I’ll let him watch Kobe, LeBron, T-Mac (Tracy McGrady). But I show him Blake Griffin and I say, ‘Shareef, this is the dude you should watch and pattern your game after.’ Because my son, when he’s older, I think he’s going to have the same body type — 6-10, muscular, freakish athletically.”
Shaquille O’Neal stands at seven-foot-one and was one of the most dominating centers in NBA history. He won four NBA titles, was a 15-time All-Star, and was named both Most Valuable Player (2000) and Rookie of the Year (1993). Shaquille spent three years at LSU before being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in 1992.
[Photo via Youtube]