Four-star 2018 recruit Shareef O’Neal is having problems getting academically eligible to play for the UCLA Bruins.
The son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal “more than likely won’t qualify academically to enroll,” according to Tracy Pierson of Bruin Report Online.
O’Neal originally made a verbal commitment to the Arizona Wildcats in April 2017 and signed his financial aid agreement in November. Following the Sean Miller wiretap scandal, O’Neal de-committed and was back on the market. He committed to UCLA on February 27.
Kentucky was favored in O’Neal’s crystal ball after his decommitment from Arizona, but he favored the west coast and picked UCLA. While there were rumors Kentucky was interested, an offer never came, and his academic issues may have been a factor.
Kentucky also showed interest prior to his pledge to Arizona, and Shaq even publicly said John Calipari was the kind of coach he wanted for his son.
Alas, the son of Shaq won’t end up at UK, and it appears he may not be playing college basketball this coming season, if ever.
If he cannot become eligible, he’ll be one of several losses for UCLA as their roster might fall apart this year. Kris Wilkes, Jaylen Hands and Cody Riley all have their names in the NBA Draft. They’ve already lost Aaron Holiday to the NBA and Thomas Welsh to graduation.
Kentucky doesn’t play UCLA this year for the first time since 2013. They will both participate in the CBS Sports Classic, which is being held in Chicago this year.