Shaq’s youngest son, Shaqir O’Neal, has committed to playing basketball at Texas Southern University, Black Enterprise reports.
O’Neal is the youngest son of NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal. He has been working on going pro like his father for some time now, playing as a shooting guard at Creekside Christian Academy in Georgia, where he graduated. He ranked as a three-star recruit in the 2021 class and has now announced where he will be playing in college. He chose Texas Southern University, one of the largest HBCUs in the country, located in Houston and boasting more than 10,000 students with over 100 academic program offerings.
“I just wanted to change the narrative of culture and do something new. A lot of people are going to follow me. You can expect a lot of buckets. I’m trying to get to the league,” O’Neal told reporters.
The 18-year-old will join the Texas Southern Tigers basketball team, which recently took home their ninth SWAC title and NCAA tournament. The team’s coach, Johnny Jones, was an assistant coach at Louisiana State University (LSU) when Shaq played. O’Neal’s older brother Shareef currently plays as a forward at LSU.
The Tigers took to social media to welcome O’Neal to the team with a short highlight reel of his games.
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O’Neal joins several prominent college -bound athletes choosing HBCUs, including Master P’s son Hercy Miller and five-star athlete, Makur Maker. In 2019, former ESPN host Jemele Hill called for more Black athletes to attend HBCUs, saying, “The flight of black athletes to majority-white colleges has been devastating to HBCUs…what if a group of elite athletes collectively made the choice to attend HBCUs? Black athletes overall have never had as much power and influence as they do now. While NCAA rules prevent them from making money off their own labor at the college level, they are essential to the massive amount of revenue generated by college football and basketball. This gives them leverage, if only they could be moved to use it.”
They’re using it now!
Congratulations, Shaqir! You’re on to great things!
Illustration Courtesy of Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP