Shareef O'Neal to undergo heart surgery, vows to return after medical redshirt at UCLA | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / August 21.
  • Shareef O’Neal to undergo heart surgery, vows to return after medical redshirt at UCLA

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Shareef O’Neal, the son of NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, will undergo heart surgery and will spend this season as a medical redshirt at UCLA.

    The 18-year-old told TMZ Sports he was having a routine checkup recently when doctors “found a medical issue dealing with my heart.” He didn’t specify the name of the condition.

    “Thank God the UCLA medical staff caught it early,” O’Neal said.

    O’Neal enrolled in summer school at UCLA and began his freshman season in Westwood this month along with fellow freshmen Jules Bernard, Moses Brown, Tyger Campbell, Kenneth Nwuba and David Singleton.

    “During rehab, I’ll be attending my classes and being a normal student,” he said, adding that he won’t withdraw from school.

    O’Neal, a 6-foot-10 and 220-pound forward from Los Angeles, vowed to return next season after the redshirt year.

    “I’ll be back in no time,” he said.

    UCLA issued the following statement: “Freshman Shareef O’Neal will be sidelined for the 2018-19 season (medical). He will remain enrolled in class and on the men’s basketball team during this redshirt year. The UCLA men’s basketball program completely supports Shareef and his family as he gets this issue resolved.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.