Shaquille O'Neal's son reveals huge expectations from people because of his dad's success

Claudine Varela
Jun 14, 2018
02:05 A.M.

The young athlete reveals how he deals with the pressure of carrying his father's last name while carving his own niche in basketball.


Shareef O’Neal, son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, is heading off to college in UCLA where he’ll be playing for the Bruins. But now that he’s poised to make a name for himself, the 18-year-old admits, he refuses to be pressured by people’s expectations as his father’s son.


Shareef recently told Slam that he’s learned to be immune to comparisons made between him and his dad, choosing to focus on who he is and what he can do. But while he’s not letting others’ expectations get to him, he confesses it motivates him.

“Probably everyone who’s heard of me, they don’t think I’m going to be as good as my dad. Some people are kind of believing in me. My dad, he says I was better than him when he was my age, so that kind of boosted me up a little bit.”

His drive to be good, according to Shareef isn’t due to the fact that he thinks he’s inferior to his father, but is fueled by his desire to prove people wrong.


“I don’t think pressure exists anymore. I used to think it was when I was growing up, and I used to doubt myself a lot when I had a bad game cause of what people would say, but it doesn’t exist to me anymore. I know what I can do and I’ve proven myself throughout my high school career. So I’m just looking to keep proving people wrong.”


The young athlete has managed to impress so far after a successful run with Santa Monica’s Crossroads School’s basketball team during his high school years. The team won a California State Division II title with Shareef earning himself the John R. Wooden Award for player of the year.

Now that he believes he has what it takes to go further in basketball, he also knows his last name comes with a lot of expectations.

“Just because of the name I have, the last name I carry, I feel like people are expecting me to do a lot of things. If I don’t live up to those expectations, then I’m hyped up and overrated.”

Luckily for Shareef, he doesn’t have to worry about his dad’s own expectations. In fact, he revealed his father wouldn’t mind if he strayed from a future in basketball and would gladly support him in whatever endeavor he chooses.


“I’m not pressured to play basketball. If I wanted to put down the ball today, hang up all my shoes, he wouldn’t be mad at all. If he’d ask me what else I’d want to do, I’d tell him and he’d be OK with it.”


However, Shareef seems destined to be a basketball star, as his Crossroads coach Anthony Davis confirms.

“Shareef is amazing as a kid—the most humble kid I’ve ever probably run across. I want to probably credit that to his family. His mom, his dad, you know they’re always here, they’re always in his corner. You can just tell they raised a great young man. He’s always looking to get better, he’s always asking questions, he’s always on him teammates and being that leader.”

UCLA couldn’t be luckier to have Shareef on its side, according to Davis who believes the university “is getting a unicorn, a very special kid.” He adds,

“He can do everything.”

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

Beggar Sees Fairly New Wheelchair near Dumpster, Hears a Man’s Voice from inside the Bin — Story of the Day

May 05, 2022

After Millionaire Husband’s Death, Old Widow Is Forced to Live In Dirty Old Trailer – Story of the Day

May 22, 2022

Rich Man Tests Son by Asking Him to Give His Huge Inheritance to an Orphanage – Story of the Day

February 02, 2022

Widowed Mom Learns Her Son Escapes Home Every Night, He Returns One Day with Bag Full of Cash – Story of the Day

April 11, 2022

Firefighter Saves then Adopts Orphan Boy who Finds Mom’s Photo in Father’s Room 40 Years Later – Story of the Day

February 27, 2022

Rich Girl Pretends to Be Poor to Test Her College Boyfriend Who Comes from a Wealthy Family — Story of the Day

May 08, 2022

Rich School Boy Notices His Teacher Visits Abandoned House after Class and Decides to Follow Her – Story of the Day

May 06, 2022

Teen Boy Puts His Newborn Son up for Adoption, Years Later He Accidentally Meets Him – Story of the Day

January 29, 2022

Judge Hears His Son Mock a Boy Whose Dad Laid the Bricks to Build Their Mansion — Story of the Day

February 01, 2022

Boy Who Lost Faith after Parents' Death Goes to Church for Help for the First Time in Years – Story of the Day

January 26, 2022

Every Day Little Boy Comes Home from School in Tears until His Father Shows up in His Classroom – Story of the Day

May 09, 2022

Grandparents Kick Pregnant Teen Out in the Cold, Years Later They Ask For Her Help — Story of the Day

March 12, 2022

Rich Man Refuses to Help Poor Little Boy, Years Later They Meet When Man Is in Trouble – Story of the Day

February 03, 2022

Young Man Who Never Knew His Parents Pushes Father Away, Learns about His Will Months Later – Story of the Day

March 10, 2022