Shaquille O'Neal and ex-wife are proud of their son who graduated from high school
Shareef O’Neal just graduated from high school, and his parents were there together to show how proud they are of the handsome young man. Following his father’s steps, Shareef is a promising basketball star at 18, and he’s ready to prove his talent at UCLA.
Shaquille and Shaunie O’Neal are the proud parents of four children, and their eldest son, Shareef O’Neal, recently finished high school, completing one of the many milestones in his life. The boy is now ready for college, and after getting many offers because of his innate basketball talent, he decided to go for UCLA to stay close to home.
At his graduation ceremony, Shareef was a total charmer wearing sunglasses and looking smug as he waited in line to get his diploma. Hovering over his classmates and teachers thanks to his 6 ft 10 height, the boy smiled at the camera as his father recorded the particular moment.
O’Neal shared a beautiful photo on Instagram giving his son a congratulatory kiss on the cheek as he wrote in the caption “You are never too old to get a kiss from your Pops! Congrats @shareefoneal Got em.”
Shaunie, on the other hand, also shared a picture of her son waiting in line with his graduation gown to get his diploma, and she mentioned how proud the family is of the “big baby.”
The 18-years-old athlete has been the center of attention in high school basketball for a while. Not only because of his last name, but also because of his abilities in the basketball court.
Despite the pressure, Shareef has learned how to deal with the expectations that come from being the son of one of the greatest of the NBA, and he’s focusing on carving his niche in basketball without letting his family down.
Speaking to Slam, the power forward player admitted that he has become immune to all the comparisons made between him and his father, and if anything, people’s expectation only fuel him to strive for a better career, to prove that he can achieve everything his father did and more.
“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. But pressure, 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.”
The young baller’s high school career put him on the map as one of the promising stars for the NBA. He started his freshman season at Windward School, and later, in 2016, transferred to Crossroads School in Santa Monica.
There, he helped his team win a California State Division II title, and he earned the John R. Wooden Award for the player of the year.
Shareef is aware of the weight that is carrying his father’s last name, and he knows there are lots of eyes watching his every move and waiting for the smallest mistake to call him “overrated,” as he said:
“Like, 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.”
A Dragon Ball Z fan, artist, and Fortnite addict, Shareef has maintained his feet on the ground despite his success, and his former Crossroads coach, Anthony Davis, has only good things to say about the young man:
“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 his teammates and being that leader.”
His family support has been key to Shareef’s career, but just to make it clear, the boy revealed that his father is not putting pressure on him to follow his steps. In fact, if he wanted to step down from the basketball path and pursue another career, his family would support him without a doubt.
“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.”
Shareef career is just starting, and we’re sure the handsome O’Neal has a bright future ahead of him. He’s more than ready to keep up with his father legacy, and in the process, he hopes to shut some people who don’t think he’s capable of defending his last name:
“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.”