Shareef O'Neal confirms his departure from UCLA men's basketball

Ross Houston
January 24, 2020

Shareef wasn't a starter this season. and never scored more than 8 points in his brief playing time.

Bruins head basketball coach Mick Cronin said he met with O'Neal on Tuesday and the big man shared his plans to transfer. O'Neal, a former Arizona Wildcats commit and the son of National Basketball Association legend Shaquille O'Neal, announced his decision Wednesday night on Twitter.

Shareef, the eldest son of Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, played sparingly for the Bruins, averaging 2.2 points in 10.2 minutes per game across 13 appearances this season. "It is in this spirit that I announced today my departure from the University of California Los Angeles", O'Neal wrote. He had open heart surgery, before being cleared to return to play in March.

"I would like to give special thanks to Coach Steve Alford who recruited me here, Coach Cronin for developing me, and the awesome medical staff for giving me a second chance at fulfilling my dreams of playing on the next level". "I can't wait for the next chapter, anywhere".

"A part of my heart will always be at UCLA figuratively and literally", Shareef said in an emotional goodbye letter to the university. "We fully support his decision and are wishing him all the best". He was a four-star prospect coming out of high school, ranked No. 32 in the ESPN 100 for the 2018 class.

UCLA now boasts a 9-9 record, though has lost four of its last six.

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