Shareef O’Neal is back balling at UCLA after healing from heart surgery

Shareef O'Neal 19-year-old missed his first season at UCLA after an "electrical problem" with his heart resulted in surgery to correct the issue back in December.

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal and his son, Shareef O'Neal, realized that Shareef would miss the entire 2018-19 season after doctors discovered a heart condition. Now, Shaq is spreading the word about heart health in the Black community. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Apple)

Shareef O’Neal is back balling at UCLA after an “electrical problem” in his heart resulted in surgery to correct the issue back in December, according to The Bleacher Report.

The 19-year-old missed his first season but on Wednesday he returned with a big smile and he wears a big scar on his chest as a badge of honor.

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“Heart surgery made me nothing but better !! Scars are just a way of saying you made it out the battle,” he wrote.



As reported by TMZ Sports, O’Neal learned about his heart condition during a routine checkup with team doctors last year.

At the time, the budding athlete told the outlet, “Thank God the UCLA medical staff caught it early.”

O’Neal’s operation was performed in December.

Last month, Shaquille O’Neal urged the Black community to get real about heart health after his son’s health scare.

The “Shaquille Gets Real about Heart Failure” is a national education program and a passion project for the 7’1 former baller because it’s primary goal is to bring further awareness around the disparities of heart failure in the Black community.

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It’s a problem the family only realized after Shareef reportedly said he felt “funny” after practicing on the basketball court.

Studies show that we are 20 times more likely than other ethnic groups to develop heart failure before the age of 50 and we are more likely to be hospitalized or die from heart failure than white Americans. Our tendency to have high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes make us serious targets.

“I’m 47-years-old, and I’m one of those guys, I look in the mirror, my belly’s not hanging over, I work out pretty good,” O’Neal told theGrio. “This affects us more than it does anybody. We need to get real. We need to get serious,” he continued.