LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shareef O’Neal, son of Shaquille O’Neal, plans to transfer from UCLA, where he sat out his first year after heart surgery and played just 13 games this season.
O’Neal announced his decision on social media Wednesday night, but didn’t mention his plans. He averaged 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds while playing 10.2 minutes per game.
“We fully support his decision and are wishing him all the best,” first-year Bruins coach Mick Cronin said.
The 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward from Los Angeles was recruited out of Crossroads High by former Bruins coach Steve Alford after averaging 27 points as a senior. O’Neal missed his freshman season after being diagnosed with a heart issue during a routine physical that required open-heart surgery.
“A part of my heart will always be at UCLA literally and figuratively,” O’Neal wrote. “I’m looking forward to the next chapter, wherever that may be.”
O’Neal thanked Alford for recruiting him and Cronin for developing him, along with the UCLA medical staff “for giving me a second chance at fulfilling my dreams of playing on the next level.”
UCLA (9-9, 2-3 Pac-12) has lost four of its last six. O’Neal didn’t play in the Bruins’ win over Cal last Sunday.