Shareef O’Neal may be getting his Hollywood fairytale.
Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported on Thursday that O’Neal, the son of retired Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, has a workout scheduled this week with none other than the Los Angeles Lakers. Buha also says that O’Neal, who is eligible to be selected in this month’s NBA Draft, has already worked out for Milwaukee in addition to scheduled visits with Cleveland, Atlanta, Washington and others.
The 22-year-old O’Neal is a 6-foot-10 forward. He was able to overcome a heart condition and played sparingly for UCLA before transferring to LSU, his father’s alma mater. O’Neal spent two years with the Tigers, averaging 2.9 points and 2.1 rebounds per game in 14 appearances last season.
The Lakers would be a very fitting landing spot for O’Neal. His father played for them from 1996 to 2004, winning three consecutive titles over that span. The elder O’Neal remains a beloved figure in the organization, having gotten his No. 34 jersey retired by the Lakers in 2013 and getting his own statue built outside of the Lakers’ home arena in 2017.
Expectations for the younger O’Neal are low given his sparse production and playing time in college. But he had a recent moment that will already forever endear him to the Lakers organization.