The Lakers will have the son of a franchise legend on the roster this summer. Although he wasn't drafted on Thursday, Shareef O'Neal, son of Shaq, will get a chance on the summer league team of the organization his father won three championships with.
The Athletic's Sham Charania was one of the first to report the development. Shareef also tweeted a video of his much younger self decked out in Lakers gear, presumably at one of his father's games at Staples Center, to confirm the news.
Shareef played his first collegiate season at UCLA, but then transferred to his father's alma mater, LSU, for his sophomore and junior seasons. He's been a fringe college player, averaging just 2.6 points per game and 3.0 rebounds per game in 11 minutes per game across 37 NCAA games.
However, the younger O'Neal is no stranger to overcoming long odds. He underwent open-heart surgery in the winter of 2018 and worked his way back onto the court.
During his pre-draft workout with the Lakers, The Athletic's Bill Oram chronicled how Shaq wanted his son to stay in school and not try to turn pro.
"Shareef O’Neal says he and his dad have butted heads over pre-draft process because Shaq wanted him to stay in school. Adds that his dad probably doesn’t want him sharing this, but, “I’m a grown man. I’m 22 years old I can make my own decision.”
Now, the genie is out of the bottle and Shareef has a shot, albeit a long one, at making the Lakers regular season roster.
Las Vegas Summer League begins on July 7th. The Lakers schedule is listed below: