Former NBA great Shaquille O'Neal and son Shareef watch game action between Arizona and Sacred Heart during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Rick Scuteri

The Arizona Wildcats might need some extra security guards for the 2018-19 basketball season.

The son of two high-profile parents, four-star 2018 forward Shareef O’Neal of Santa Monica, California, announced Wednesday morning he committed to the Wildcats over UCLA, Kentucky and USC.

His father is NBA star Shaquille O’Neal — who was closely shadowed by a guard during an unofficial visit to UA with his son last November — and his mother, Shaunie, is an executive producer for VH1’s Basketball Wives reality TV show.

Shareef, meanwhile, is the 36th-best player in the class of 2018, according to, more of a face-up forward than a dominating inside presence like his father was.

“He has a good frame, long arms, and he’s athletic,” analyst Josh Gershon said. “He can shoot it for a four-man. He’s much more comfortable facing up and shooting than with his back to the basket, but he does have some back-to-basket game in him. The biggest key with him is his motor, playing hard every single time out. If he can do that, he’ll be a good player.” 

Sportswriter for the Arizona Daily Star covering Arizona Wildcats basketball