Most high school athletes choose their eventual college destination based on a combination of their comfort with the program and its ability to help their reach their athletic (and, if they’re smart, academic) goals. Yet, no matter how good a teenager may feel about one college or another, their parents are always going to have some input in where they end up. Needless to say, that guidance is amplified when the parent in question is NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.
O’Neal’s son, Shareef O’Neal, is a superstar prospect at the Windward School in Los Angeles. The rising junior is now reaching a point in his prep career where he’s receiving significant interest from many of the nation’s top programs, both for his own natural ability and his unique pedigree. According to the younger O’Neal himself, there’s one school that has come courting that dear old Dad is already particularly high on.
“My dad actually wants me to lean towards Kentucky,” Shareef O’Neal told Sean Scherer of 247Sports. “He has a good friendship with the coach there. I know a lot about that school because a lot of kids dream about going there. I like their style of play.”
Kentucky is one of three schools that the 6-foot-9 Windward star has mentioned explicitly to his father. Duke and Michigan State are the others. To be fair, Shaq has given ever indication he’ll be happy wherever his son eventually suits up, with the exception of the one place many might think he’d push Shareef toward:
“No, I want him to be able to create his own path,” Shaq told 247 Sports of the possibility for his son to play at LSU.