In the world of modern basketball, few men are bigger than Shaquille O’Neal. In a literal sense, the center towered over the competition, using his massive frame to bully opponents and stuff the stat sheet. On a more figurative level, Shaq has an outsized personality and is more than happy to show it off. Even if you’ve never watched an NBA game, you’re probably at least superficially familiar with The Big Aristotle.
While O’Neal is a fine man for any basketball player to emulate, Shaq’s daughter, Amirah, has decided to break away from her father’s footsteps. Rather than attending LSU, she’ll be taking her talents to Texas Southern.
Shaquille O’Neal first made a name for himself at LSU
While he donned a variety of uniforms during his professional career, most fans will probably remember Shaq donning the iconic Purple and Gold and playing for the LA Lakers. His arrival in Hollywood wasn’t the first time he wore those colors, though.
After making a name for himself in high school, O’Neal headed to Baton Rouge to join the LSU Tigers. While the school may be more known for its football exploits, the young center proved to be a legitimate force. For all of his size and strength, the big man was surprisingly nimble; that paid dividends in the box score. In total, Shaq spent three seasons in Louisana, averaging 21.6 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks per outing.
Although the Tigers never made much progress in the NCAA Tournament, O’Neal still made quite an impact on campus. His number 33 has been retired by the basketball program, and a statue of the big man sits outside the team’s practice facility.
Amirah O’Neal won’t be following her father’s footsteps and become a star at LSU
When a parent found success in a particular way, there’s always going to be some inclination for their children to follow it. While Shaq’s daughter, Amirah O’Neal, is doing that by playing college basketball, she won’t be taking her talents to LSU.
Although the forward committed to playing for the Tigers in April 2020 and was listed as a “preferred walk-on” on LSU sports’ official site, O’Neal is ready for a change of scenery. She recently posted a video on Instagram, Amirah announced that she was committing to Texas Southern University with plans of joining their basketball team. “I see the doubt in they faces, they didn’t think I would make it,” she wrote in the caption.
As noted by the Houston Chronicle, she won’t be the first O’Neal heading to the Houston HBCU. Shaquir, one of Amirah’s brothers, announced his commitment to the school earlier in 2021.
One of Shaq’s sons is an LSU Tiger, though
While Amirah and Shaquir have chosen to blaze their own paths on the basketball court, one O’Neal is following in Shaq’s massive footsteps. Shareef O’Neal is, at least as of now, a Tiger.
During his time in high school, the forward committed to Arizona but chose to call an audible after head coach Sean Miller’s recruiting scandal. O’Neal then pledged his allegiance to UCLA, where he spent one season as a medical redshirt and another as a bit-part player coming off the bench. He then announced that he was transferring to LSU. Things in Baton Rouge didn’t get off to an easy start, though, as a foot injury derailed his first SEC campaign.
At this point, it’s unclear if any of Shaquille O’Neal’s children will ever fill his massive shoes. If nothing else, though, they certainly have genetics on their side.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference