Most of us remember Shaquille O’Neal for his rim shattering dunks. Die hard basketball fans can scroll their memory all the way back to when Shaq faced off against a Christian Laetner led Duke team. Where after being defeated by Duke, Shaq was minimized as a “maybe” future NBA star. Those who said that would later eat crow when Shaquille O’Neal became a hall of famer as the most feared inside presence in the history of the NBA. Scroll life forward to the present and now comes Shaquille O’Neal’s son, Shareef O’Neal, who is his father’s clone with his heart, his drive, his presence on the floor but he adds a couple of more components to his own game. The true basketball mind would immediately ask what an athlete could possibly add to the game of a hall of famer and more than that how could someone, even if it’s Shaq’s son, become better than the original number 32. Here’s how. Shareef O’Neal has the favor of NBA legends on his side mainly Kobe Bryant who he schedules workouts with. Between arguably the best basketball center in history and one of the top three overall players in Kobe Bryant, Shareef O’Neal will have some of the best training that a prospect can come by. The younger O’Neal may very well rise up to the top spot for co’18 prospects. Currently the 6’9 power forward attends Crossroads School located in California.
What makes Shareef O’Neal one of the top recruits in the class of 2018? Besides the fact that he is the most athletic swingman in his class, he is quickly learning how to defend. A defender with his length and potentially high basket IQ that will be attained from training with NBA legends will be nothing less than lethal on the floor. In fact when he learns how to play defense with the fierceness of the elder O’Neal, things could get downright frightening for his opponents. Offensively, he already has a very effective midrange jumper. While Shaq’s finishes at the rim were at minimum sinister to his competition, Shareef O’Neal’s dunk ability has been described as violently poetic. This touches to the fact that while there are many similarities in the father and son’s game, the younger O’Neal is also turning into a perimeter threat. While there are other prospects that can match skills with the young prospect, Shareef is developing floor leadership skills, an NBA caliber handle, and a defensive prowess that has now made him the prime target of every major basketball program in the NCAA. There are murmurings in the basketball world of the elder Shaq wanting his son to attend Kentucky. Whether Shareef chooses the Wildcats remains to be seen. What we do know though is that he will continue to terrorize his opponents on the high school level and is set to be a sleeker version of the original diesel. Would a fitting nickname be Diesel 2.0? Stay tuned. www.besquadsport.com