Shareef O’Neal Joins NBA G League Ignite, Following in His Father’s Footsteps

Shareef O’Neal Joins NBA G League Ignite After Impressive Summer League Stint

Shareef O’Neal, son of NBA legend Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal, has made headlines by signing a deal with the NBA G League Ignite for the upcoming season. This opportunity comes after his successful performance with the Los Angeles Lakers summer league squad, where he had the chance to showcase his skills and catch the attention of scouts from the Ignite. As a result, O’Neal has secured a six-figure contract with the team.

A Bright Future in the G League Ignite

O’Neal, along with other international players such as France’s Sidy Cissoko and Lithuania’s Matas Buzelis, joins the Ignite team to continue his basketball journey. This move is reminiscent of top high school prospect Scoot Henderson, who decided to forgo the traditional collegiate route to play for the Ignite during his gap year.

A Path Shaped by Legacy

Being the child of a famous parent is never easy, especially when your father is a legendary NBA figure like Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq, as he is commonly known, achieved remarkable success during his basketball career, both in college and the NBA. After earning recognition as the 1993 Rookie of the Year with the Orlando Magic, Shaq went on to win four NBA titles, three of which were with the Los Angeles Lakers, and one with the Miami Heat. In 2000, he secured the prestigious NBA MVP award.

Outside the court, Shaq has built a larger-than-life persona, becoming a prominent figure in various industries. From his endorsements for major brands to his ventures in acting, rapping, and DJing, Shaq’s multifaceted career has captivated audiences. Additionally, his role as a commentator and analyst for the NBA on TNT has further solidified his place in the basketball world.

O’Neal’s Basketball Journey

Shareef O’Neal, inspired by his father’s success, embarked on his own basketball career, aiming to follow in his father’s footsteps. Although slightly shorter than Shaq at 6-foot-10, O’Neal demonstrated his skills at Crossroads, a prestigious high school in Santa Monica, California. Notably, Crossroads counts famous alumni such as actresses Kate Hudson and Gwyneth Paltrow. Charlie Hall, the son of actress Julia-Louise Dreyfus, also honed his basketball skills at Crossroads before playing for Northwestern University.

After receiving a scholarship to UCLA, O’Neal faced setbacks when he was unable to play his freshman year due to a heart condition. He underwent heart surgery and was granted a medical redshirt. Unfortunately, his playing time was limited under coach Mick Cronin, prompting him to transfer to LSU. LSU held sentimental value for the O’Neal family, as Shaq had also played for the team for three seasons.

During his two seasons with LSU, O’Neal faced another obstacle in the form of a foot injury, which limited him to just 24 games. In his final season, he averaged less than 10 minutes per game, contributing an average of only 2.9 points off the bench. Despite declaring for the 2022 NBA Draft, O’Neal went undrafted. However, he showcased his skills with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Summer League, where he played alongside Scottie Pippen, Jr., and ultimately secured a contract with the G League Ignite.

The Next Chapter in Shareef O’Neal’s Journey

While O’Neal’s ultimate goal remains securing a spot in the NBA, he now has the opportunity to further develop his skills within the G League. Should circumstances change, he may explore playing opportunities overseas. For now, O’Neal will join the Ignite in their new location in Henderson, Nevada, as he continues his pursuit of professional basketball success.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How did Shareef O’Neal secure a contract with the G League Ignite?
  2. What are O’Neal’s aspirations in the basketball world?
  3. What are the challenges of being the child of a famous NBA player like Shaquille O’Neal?
  4. Why did O’Neal choose to transfer from UCLA to LSU?
  5. Will O’Neal consider playing overseas if his G League journey doesn’t go as planned?


Shareef O’Neal, the son of basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, has taken a significant step forward in his basketball career by signing with the NBA G League Ignite. His impressive performance with the Los Angeles Lakers summer league squad caught the attention of scouts, leading to a lucrative contract offer. With his determination and the opportunity to further develop his skills, O’Neal embarks on a new chapter in his journey towards professional basketball success.

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