Update 12/14/2018 11:14 a.m.
Shareef O’Neal, the son of former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal and Shaunie O’Neal, appears to be doing well after undergoing heart surgery on Thursday.
The UCLA freshman shared a post-operation update with his fans that was uploaded by his younger sister, Mimi O’Neal.
“I made it,” Shareef declared.
“Thank you for all the love and support! I really appreciate all your thoughts and prayers, that’s what helped me through this surgery. I’m on the road to recovery, and I’ll be back soon…better than ever. ”
The 18-year-old is sidelined from playing basketball for the entire college season. He is expected to return to the court after his recovery.
Basketball Wives star Shaunie O’Neal shared an emotional message about watching her and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal’s eldest son, Shareef O’Neal, get prepped for heart surgery on Thursday morning.
“This morning was by far my toughest moment being a Mom,” Shaunie wrote under a photo in her son’s hospital room.
“If only I could take his place today. Could I at least go with him in that operating room and hold his hand. Separating from him as he was wheeled off to surgery was heartbreaking.”
Shareef, a freshman and basketball player at UCLA, announced in September that he would be taking a hiatus from the game because of a heart issue that required surgery.
Shaunie went on to express wanting to protect her son despite his no longer being a child. “THATS MY BABY! I don’t care how old, how big, how grown my kids get I still want to protect them,” she wrote.
“I had no control over any of this. But there is a God, I trust and believe He is in there with my baby right now and has complete control.”
His mother asked for prayers for Shareef as he undergoes heart surgery. He is expected to rejoin the UCLA Bruins basketball team next season.
What's Your Reaction?
Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.