Shaquille O'Neal has five children. The former basketball star is one of the greatest players in the history of the game, having played for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Boston Celtics. But perhaps the role he is most proud of than any other is fatherhood.
Shaq first became a father when he welcomed daughter Taahirah O'Neal with his former girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourgh in July 1996.
The former NBA-er then fell hard for Shaunie Nelson, who entered the couple's union with one son, Myles. Shaq and Shaunie had two children before marrying in 2002: Shareef Rashaun, born in 2000, and Amirah Sanaa, who arrived one year later in 2001.
After they wed, the duo welcomed two more children; a son named Shaqir Rashaun and a daughter named Me'arah Sanaa who was born in 2006.
Shaunie, creator and producer of the television show Basketball Wives, and Shaq would divorce in 2010. Today, the couple works at being the best parents and role models they can for their brood.
Shareef O'Neal Is Hopeful For The Future After Heart Surgery Almost Sidelined His Hoop DreamsShareef O'Neal, the oldest son of Shaq and Shaunie, was making a name for himself as a player for the UCLA Bruins when he was diagnosed with an anomalous coronary artery. This is a congenital heart defect that causes an artery to grow in the wrong place. He underwent open-heart surgery on December 13, 2018, reported The Los Angeles Times. After what he called "a tough recovery," Shareef was medically cleared to return to the game in March of last year.
Instead of returning to his UCLA team, the 6-foot-9-inch tall forward played in the Drew League, featuring high school, college, professional, and street players competing on 24 teams. In the fall of 2019, he returned to college ball. A few months later, Shareef announced his transfer from UCLA and their team in January 2020.
Shareef and Shaq are extraordinarily close. Shareef honored his father's legacy by permanently inking his body with one of Shaq's greatest moments. Shaq took a pass from Lakers teammate and close family friend Kobe Bryant and scored an alley-oop dunk to seal Game 7 against the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2000 Western Conference Finals. Shareef tattooed the iconic moment when Shaq pointed at his infant son in the crowd after scoring the winning point. The ink appears on Shareef's leg.
Shareef added more tattoos to his body after the death of Kobe Bryant. Following the tragic helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others, Shareef honored Kobe and Gianna by tattooing images on his leg that symbolized their lives. He posted photos of the new artwork to his Instagram story.
Amirah O'Neal Has The Skills To Take Her Famous Family Name To New HeightsStunning 6-foot-2-inch tall Amirah O'Neal, born November 13, 2001, and the second of Shaq's daughters, has drawn a lot of attention for her basketball playing skills. She plays at Crossroads High School in Santa Monica, California, where she is a center, according to the website NBA Family.
Her skills on the court could lead her to become a top women's college basketball star in the future. She led her team to one CIF Championship appearance, reported the site. Amirah was an Honorable Mention selection to the MaxPreps 2019 California All-State Girls Basketball Team, as well as the Cal-Hi Sports Division IV All-State Team. Out of all her siblings, Amirah's ball skills most closely resemble those of her father Shaq, noted NBA Family.
Trying to make your mark in the same profession as your famous parent is not an easy life path. However, Amirah continues to carve out her own niche in a sport that the O'Neal family has not dominated yet, women's basketball.
She is reportedly undecided about where she wants to attend college.
Shaqir Rashaun O'Neal Says 'I Just Love The Game' Of BasketballShaqir O'Neal may be just 15-years-old, but he is already catching the eye of some basketball professionals who see a big future for the freshman player from Crossroads High School.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 165-pound shooting guard is quickly coming into his own as a prospect. He played in the junior varsity squad during his first year at Crossroads, reported 247 Sports.
"I just love the game. I'm a really good shooter and I like to play defense. I want to get better at my handle and my defense," Shaquir said in a November 2018 interview with the website.
For now, Shaqir is more interested in continuing to grow his overall skillset rather than compare himself to his legendary father and older brother Shareef. He is interested in playing the game professionally, reported USA Today Sports, but would rather be known for the talent he can bring to the court on his own merit than to try to fill the legendary size 22 shoes of his father.
Me'arah Sanaa O'Neal Is A Baller With Great Potential & She's Still In Middle SchoolMe'arah O'Neal may just be a young woman entering her teenage years, but she is a dominant presence on her middle school basketball team. She can already perform a behind-the-back, turnaround jumper, reported USA Today Sports, who featured the young woman in an article regarding her promise as a future basketball star.
She's also already 6-feet, 3 inches tall and has the potential to be one of the top high school recruits in the country due to her advanced skills on the court.
Me'arah was very close to both Kobe and Gianna. After their death, she posted a tribute to them on Instagram where she shared an image of herself at Mamba Sports Academy. Above the court, both Kobe and Gianna can be seen watching the game.
In the image's caption, Me'arah called Kobe "Unc" and asked him to "watch over her."
"You'll always be with me! both of you! forever and always."
Taahirah O'Neal Is Shaq's Only Daughter With Arnetta YardbourghTaahirah O'Neal is the only daughter of Shaq and Arnetta Yardbourgh. Taahirah attended Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated in 2019 with a degree in sociology and two minors in both politics and African American studies, according to NBA Family.
She shares her love of education from her father, who returned to school after leaving Louisiana State University early for the NBA, and earned his bachelor's degree, followed by a master's degree and a doctorate in education.