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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Articles tagged: Shareef O’Neal

Shareef O’Neal explains how he uses Kobe Bryant’s final text message as motivation

Shareef O'Neal

Shareef O’Neal was one of the last people Kobe Bryant reached out to before the Los Angeles Lakers legend died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, and O’Neal says that has been a great source of motivation for him over the past several months.

Bryant checked in on O’Neal, who is the son of Shaquille O’Neal, the morning of the helicopter crash. Kobe sent Shareef a text message asking him, “You good fam?” O’Neal opened up about what that meant to him in a recent interview with B/R Hoops, and he said he now has a screenshot of the text saved as the background on his phone.

O’Neal announced just days before Kobe’s death that he was transferring from UCLA, so Kobe may have been checking in on him to see how things were going with that. O’Neal also took a medical redshirt as a freshman after doctors discovered he had a heart condition for which he underwent surgery.

While Shaq has indicated he has regrets over not remaining in closer contact with Kobe in recent years, it is clear the two Lakers legends were family. Shareef now has the text message from Kobe as a reminder that Bryant was thinking about him.

Shaq’s son Shareef O’Neal transferring to LSU

Shareef O'Neal

Shareef O’Neal is headed to LSU.

O’Neal announced in late January that he was leaving UCLA and looking to transfer. We heard he was considering LSU, where his father Shaquille went, and Memphis, where Shaq’s ex-teammate Penny Hardaway coaches.

On Friday, Shareef told Sports Illustrated’s Robin Lundberg that he was going to LSU.

O’Neal was originally an Arizona commit but switched to UCLA after the Sean Miller wiretap scandal. O’Neal took a medical redshirt as a freshman after doctors discovered he had a heart condition for which he underwent surgery. O’Neal was cleared to play this season but only appeared in 13 games. He averaged 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game for the Bruins.

Shareef O’Neal shares most important advice Kobe Bryant gave him

Shareef O'Neal

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal may have openly disagreed about a number of things from the time they played together right up until Kobe’s death, but that did not prevent their two families from becoming extremely close. In particular, Kobe made a huge impact on Shaq’s son Shareef.

Like his father, Shareef was hit hard by the loss of Kobe and Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna. TMZ asked Shareef this week what the most important advice was that he received from Bryant, and he said Kobe stressed to him the importance of outworking the competition and not trying to fill Shaq’s massive shoes.

“He just told me to always be the best I can be,” Shareef said. “Always try hard and always try to work harder than everyone else ’cause every day you take off, there’s always people trying to get better.

“He just told me to be the best I can be, I don’t have to live up to my dad’s name. I don’t have to live up to anybody’s name. Be the best I can be.”

Shareef, who recently left the UCLA basketball team and is considering a transfer to LSU, said Kobe, Gianna and the seven others who died in a helicopter crash earlier this month will be on his mind every time he plays.

Not long after the crash, Shareef shared a heartbreaking screenshot on social media that showed Kobe had reached out to him that morning to check in on him. Shareef referred to Kobe as “unc” in the post, which was an indication of the close relationship they shared.

More Larry Brown Sports coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death:

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Tributes to Kobe:
Vanessa Bryant posts first Instagram message since death of Kobe, Gianna
NBA players changing jersey numbers in honor of Kobe Bryant
Clippers leave Kobe Bryant’s retired Lakers jerseys uncovered at Staples Center
Bill Belichick shares touching anecdote in tribute to Kobe Bryant
UConn honors Gianna Bryant with own jersey, spot on the bench
Jeanie Buss shares emotional tribute to Kobe, Gianna Bryant on Instagram
Kobe Bryant could have street named after him near Staples Center
Video: Shaq gets emotional talking about Kobe Bryant on TNT
Shareef O’Neal shares most important advice Kobe Bryant gave him
LeBron James had inspirational message for Lakers during meeting about Kobe
Video: See LeBron’s tribute speech to Kobe before Lakers game
Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
Gilbert Arenas vows to begin coaching career like Kobe Bryant urged him to
Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
Damian Lillard puts Kobe Bryant into context with great quote
Chiefs, 49ers honor Kobe Bryant by lining up at 24-yard line before Super Bowl
Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences

More coverage:
Video: Kobe Bryant helicopter audio released
Investigators release chilling drone footage from Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site
Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
TMZ says they had permission from Kobe’s people to report Bryant had died
NBA postpones Tuesday’s Lakers-Clippers game after Kobe Bryant’s death
Shaq says he had not spoken to Kobe Bryant in nearly four years
Kobe Bryant recently filed for ‘Mambacita’ trademark for daughter Gianna
Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41

Other victims of the helicopter crash:
John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims
Sarah Chester, daughter Payton were also killed in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
Ara Zobayan was the pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

Don’t miss any news
– Follow Larry Brown Sports on Twitter
Join our Facebook group
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Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash

Shareef O'Neal

Kobe Bryant died tragically in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning, and it appears one of the last people he reached out to was Shareef O’Neal.

O’Neal, who is the son of Shaquille O’Neal, announced earlier this week that he is transferring from UCLA. After the news broke on Sunday that Bryant died, Shareef shared a screenshot of a direct message Kobe sent him that morning. O’Neal referred to Bryant as “unc,” indicating the two had a close relationship. Bryant had asked Shareef how he was doing.

Shaq and Kobe won three straight championships together with the Los Angeles Lakers. The two openly butted heads during their time as teammates, but the fact that Kobe reached out to Shareef to see how he was doing speaks to the way Kobe’s and Shaq’s relationship progressed.

Bryant’s daughter was also killed in the helicopter crash.

More Larry Brown Sports coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death:

Don’t miss any news
– Follow Larry Brown Sports on Twitter
Join our Facebook group
– Download the Larry Brown Sports app on your iOS device
– Subscribe to our newsletter (sign up here)

Other victims of the helicopter crash:
John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims

Tributes to Kobe:
Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences

More coverage:
Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41

Don’t miss any news
– Follow Larry Brown Sports on Twitter
Join our Facebook group
– Download the Larry Brown Sports app on your iOS device
– Subscribe to our newsletter (sign up here)

Shareef O’Neal considering transfer to LSU, Memphis

Shareef O'Neal

Shareef O’Neal announced earlier this week that he has left UCLA, and he has since confirmed that he plans to continue playing basketball at another school.

While he did not specifically say in his statement that he is transferring to a new school, O’Neal told reporter Jack Pollon that he is considering LSU, Memphis and other programs.

O’Neal originally was an Arizona commit but switched to UCLA. He joined the program when Steve Alford was head coach. Alford was fired last year and Mick Cronin was hired in April as his replacement. O’Neal met with Cronin recently to inform him of the transfer decision.

O’Neal, who is the son of Shaquille O’Neal, took a medical redshirt as a freshman after doctors discovered he had a heart condition for which he underwent surgery. O’Neal was cleared to play this season but only appeared in 13 games for the Bruins. He averaged 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game.

Shareef O’Neal announces he will transfer from UCLA

Shareef O'Neal

Shareef O’Neal is leaving UCLA and plans to transfer.

O’Neal, the son of former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, said in a statement on Twitter that he has left UCLA. He did not specifically say in the Twitter note that he was going to transfer, but he talked about the “next chapter.”

Bruins head basketball coach Mick Cronin said he met with O’Neal on Tuesday and the big man shared his plans to transfer.

“After meeting with Shareef on Tuesday, he told me that he plans to transfer. We fully support his decision and are wishing him all the best.”

O’Neal took a medical redshirt as a freshman after doctors discovered he had a heart condition for which he underwent surgery. O’Neal was cleared to play this season but has only appeared in 13 games. He’s averaged 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game.

O’Neal originally was an Arizona commit but switched to UCLA. He joined the program when Steve Alford was head coach. Alford was fired last year and Cronin was hired in April.

Shareef O’Neal wants to help young athletes in testing for heart issues

Shareef O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal’s son Shareef shared his plan on Twitter Friday to help young athletes in testing for heart issues.

Shareef, a freshman at UCLA, redshirted his first year with the program after testing revealed he had a heart issue that required surgery. He underwent heart surgery last year. Now that his life has been changed by the surgery, he said a year later that he wants to help young athletes in this regard.

That’s thoughtful of O’Neal to want to help others so they get these serious health scares identified earlier in their lives. For O’Neal, it wasn’t until he stepped on campus at UCLA that his heart condition was discovered.

Now a redshirt freshman forward, O’Neal has played in nine games for the Bruins and is averaging 2.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.