When it comes to athletes, to say that they possess a ton of skill and talent is an understatement. But it doesn’t stop there. Their offspring tend to be even more talented. To start, they have benefitted from their famous parents being athletic and instilling that mindset from an early age. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that money was part of the equation. While a lot of athletes have come from nothing and gone on to make millions of dollars throughout their career, money certainly helps. It can mean the difference between going onto play professionally or not. While that’s not always the case, as I’ve mentioned, money helps – regardless of what you do in life.
Kids like LeBron James Jr. have a huge advantage over some random kid who can play high school basketball just as well. Why? Because he’s LeBron James’ kid. In fact, LeBron Jr. has already had scholarship offers from Duke and Kentucky – several years before he could even go to college and play. Shareef O’Neal is a four-star recruit, and son of Shaquille O’Neal and was scheduled to play with UCLA this season. But he won’t be able to due to a recently-discovered heart condition.
During summer practices at UCLA, O’Neal said he reported feeling “funny” at practice. Doctors then gave the 6-foot-10 power forward a heart monitor to wear and attached button that he pressed when he was not feeling well. A few weeks later, doctors told him that he would need surgery. That’s a lot for a young person to take into consideration. After all, they’re just starting their career and yet they’re being told that they have to have surgery. What will this mean for his career? Maybe that’s not the right question to ask, but it certainly is something that I think people are thinking about. Thankfully UCLA medical staff found it early as this sounds like something that can be fixed.
Which means, O’Neal will be able to play again. What we are hearing is that it’s not a career-ending situation. Great news. But would we be talking about this if he wasn’t the son of the great Shaquille O’Neal? The answer is not likely. I mean, I see news reports all the time of some athlete, at some college who has to have surgery in order to correct some condition. That in itself isn’t good news. But I tend to blow past them because I might not know who they are, and, in general, their situation is inconsequential to me in many ways.
But that brings me back to my earlier point about being the son of an athlete. I’m not saying that money will save his life, necessarily, but there could be someone in the same place, who doesn’t come from a wealthy or celebrity family who doesn’t get the same prognosis. Which means, they aren’t going to be able to further their career. In essence, it’s over before it started. All that said, Shareef will be sidelined for the 2018-2019 season, but we are happy to hear that he will make a full recovery.