Shareef O’Neal says his dad didn’t want him to enter NBA Draft
Shareef O’Neal has averaged just 2.6 points per game in college and needed heart surgery during his time at UCLA.
After working out for the Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Draft prospect Shareef O’Neal revealed that his father, Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, didn’t want him to enter the draft after his junior year of college.
“We kind of bump heads about this process,” the younger O’Neal said in a video news conference. “He wanted me to stay in school. I wanted to better myself through this. He knows I’m working out with teams. But I’m not going to lie, we ain’t talked about this. I’m kind of just going through it. He didn’t do any pre-draft workouts; he just got straight on the [Orlando Magic], so it’s a different grind.”
Heart surgery for O’Neal
In three seasons at UCLA and LSU, Shareef played just 37 games. He averaged just 2.6 points per game in college and needed heart surgery during his time at UCLA. O’Neal is not expected to be drafted on Thursday but the 22-year-old admits that he will follow his own path.
“He didn’t like that idea at all,” O’Neal added of his father. “It sucks that he didn’t like that idea, but I’m a grown man, I’m 22 years old, I can make my own decisions. It was right in front of my face. I’m not backing up from it. I’m going to go get it if I see it. That’s just how I’m built. I take everything the same way. I took my heart surgery the same way. Being cleared was right in front of me, being healthy was right in front of me, and I went for it.
“I’m not backing down from nobody. I know he’s an NBA legend, I know he’s my dad, but it was right in front of me, I had to go get it. So, if he likes it or not, it’s not really going to stop me from doing what I want to do.”
If O’Neal is not drafted, he could play in Summer League or the G-League if he wants to remain in the United States, or he could move abroad.