It did not take long for Shareef O’Neal to make up his mind.
A few days after backing off his verbal pledge to play basketball at Arizona, O’Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, has committed to another Pac-12 program: UCLA.
The younger O’Neal, a five-star power forward out of Santa Monica, Calif., decommitted Saturday amid reports of Arizona’s involvement in the college hoops scandal that involves the FBI. According to ESPN.com, Arizona head coach Sean Miller was heard on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to secure the commitment of heralded recruit DeAndre Ayton.
“At this time I am opening up my recruitment due to the current events with the Arizona basketball team. I would like to thank all the coaches for recruiting me. At the time my family and I think it’s in my best interests to look at other options to assure my play in the NCAA next year,” O’Neal wrote on Twitter.
O’Neal also thanked Miller and the other Wildcats assistants for recruiting him.
Arizona’s loss became UCLA’s gain. The 6-foot-9 O’Neal is a five-star recruit according to Rivals.com and is ranked as the No. 28 overall prospect in the 2018 class.
Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi detailed O’Neal’s skillset:
A long and lean athlete, O’Neal is a bouncy athlete around the rim who can also step away from the rim and make jump shots to the three point line. His motor has been criticized at times but the skill and athleticism to play at a high level are all in place.
O’Neal joins center Moses Brown as the second five-star recruit in UCLA’s 2018 class. The Bruins also have four-star guards Tyger Campbell and David Singleton, four-star forward Jules Bernard and three-star center Kenneth Nwuba.
The addition of O’Neal gives UCLA the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in the country behind Duke.
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