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Former Arizona Wildcats commit Shareef O'Neal to transfer from UCLA
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Former Arizona Wildcats commit Shareef O'Neal to transfer from UCLA

After less than two seasons, UCLA forward Shareef O'Neal announced he will transfer from UCLA. O'Neal, a former Arizona Wildcats commit and the son of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, announced his decision Wednesday night on Twitter. 

"My parents have always taught me that transparency is the best form of communication. ... However, I would like to give a special thanks to Coach Steve Alford who recruited me here Coach (Mick Cronin) for developing me and the awesome medical staff for giving me a second chance at fulfilling my dreams of playing on the next level," O'Neal tweeted. 

The 6-foot-9-inch O'Neal originally committed to the Wildcats as part of their 2018 recruiting class, and remained committed after former UA assistant coach Book Richardson's was arrested for federal bribery in September 2017. O'Neal decommitted from the Wildcats on Feb. 24, 2018, the same day coach Sean Miller was away from the team amid an ESPN.com report that he discussed a $100,000 payment to land former UA standout Deandre Ayton. 

O'Neal, a Los Angeles native, later committed to the Bruins and Alford. He missed his entire freshman season after undergoing open-heart surgery. He returned this season, averaging 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game for Cronin, who's in his first season with the Bruins.

"A part of my heart will always be at UCLA figuratively and literally. I'm looking forward to that chapter, wherever that may be," O'Neal tweeted. 

O'Neal will finish the quarter at UCLA, which ends on March 20, and then he'll announce his next destination, 247Sports.com's Evan Daniels reported. 

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Contact sports content producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or jspears@tucson.com. On Twitter @justinesports

Sports producer

Justin writes stories and produces digital content about UA football and basketball and high school football. A Tucson native, Justin graduated from the UA in 2017 and is the host of the Wildcast Podcast and a radio host on ESPN Tucson.

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