Shareef O’Neal, son of Shaquille O’Neal, inks six-figure contract with NBA G League Ignite 

The contract will allow the younger O'Neal to continue to develop his game and work toward a possible NBA career.

Loading the player...

Shareef O’Neal, the 22-year-old son of basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal and his former wife, Shaunie, has reportedly signed a six-figure contract with the Nevada-based G League Ignite for next season. 

The Athletic was the first to confirm the contract, which will allow the younger O’Neal to continue to develop his game and work toward a possible NBA career. Monday, he confirmed the signing on Twitter, tweeting, “VEGAS LETS DO IT !! Thank you Ignite.” 

Shareef O’Neal, the 22-year-old son of basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, has reportedly signed a six-figure contract with the Nevada-based G League Ignite for next season. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Shareef left Louisiana State University, his famous father’s alma mater, in his junior year to enter the NBA draft, but went undrafted. He played with the Los Angeles Lakers summer league squad. The Athletic reports that multiple teams were “intrigued” with Shareef’s “athleticism and pedigree throughout” the pre-draft and summer league, where he averaged 4.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 10.9 minutes per game. 

The former UCLA player has also been plagued by physical challenges, including procedures on his foot and ankle, plus a 2018 open heart surgery.

On its official website, Ignite notes that they are a “first-of-its-kind team dedicated to developing top young prospects in preparation for the NBA Draft.” The organization is based in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada. They say their “program focuses on high-level competition and accelerated on-court development for players who are beginning their professional careers.

The team said it also provides “life skills training that includes financial literacy education, community service involvement and scholarship opportunities.” Ignite acknowledges that is “not a traditional NBA G League team” as competition includes games against NBA G League opponents and exhibitions against international teams.”

Shareef told ESPN just last month that his father wanted him to stay in school and not enter the draft.

“We kind of bump heads about this process,” he revealed. “He wanted me to stay in school. I wanted to better myself through this. He knows I’m working out with teams. But I’m not going to lie, we ain’t talked about this. I’m kind of just going through it. He didn’t do any pre-draft workouts; he just got straight on the [Orlando Magic], so it’s a different grind.” 

“So, he didn’t want me to do this,” Shareef admitted of Shaq, “and I know he probably doesn’t want me saying this, but sorry. We’re both grown, we’ll get past it.”

Loading the player...