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Shaq & Shaunie O’Neil’s Son Has Heart Issue, Will Sit Out Year at UCLA

Shareef O'neal, Shaq, UCLA

UCLA men’s basketball player Shareef O’Neal revealed on Friday that he will not participate during his freshman season because of a heart issue that will require surgery.

O’Neal is the eldest son of former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal and Basketball Wives executive producer Shaunie O’Neal. In a video interview with TMZ, the 18-year-old said the heart ailment was discovered by the university’s doctors. Although he must undergo surgery the condition is not expected to be career ending.

“Recently I found out I had a serious heart issue,” Shareef wrote on Instagram. “I am very blessed to be here living today, one of those moments on the court could’ve been my last breathe .. I will not be able to participate in sports this year but I will be back in no time .”

He continued, “I want to thank god for looking out for me , I want to thank UCLA , my teammates and most importantly my family … this is just a small bump on the road and I gotta push through it .. I am very down about not being able to do sport I love .. I really wanted this year I felt like I was at my best but this is just a minor setback.. my health is most important over everything.”

The Division I team confirmed the news and stated that the freshman will be placed on a medical redshirt season. “”The UCLA men’s basketball program completely supports Shareef and his family as he gets this issue resolved,” a spokesperson for the team said in a statement.

Shareef will remain enrolled at UCLA for the 2018-19 academic year. “During rehab, I’ll be attending my classes and being a normal student.”

View this post on Instagram

Recently I found out I had a serious heart issue … I am very blessed to be here living today, one of those moments on the court could’ve been my last breathe .. I will not be able to participate in sports this year but I will be back in no time … I want to thank God for looking out for me , I want to thank UCLA , my teammates and most importantly my family … this is just a small bump on the road and I gotta push through it .. I am very down about not being able to do sport I love .. I really wanted this year I felt like I was at my best but this is just a minor setback.. my health is most important over everything .. like I said .. I WILL BE BACK.. thank you ❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by Shareef O'Neal (@shareefoneal) on

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