‘A Lot of People Are Going to Follow Me’: Shaq’s Son Shaqir O’Neal Commits to Texas Southern University to ‘Change the Narrative’

Just weeks after news came that Master P’s son Hercy Miller would be attending a Historically Black College and University, the son of another prominent Black celebrity has announced plans for a similar move as part of his athletic path.  Shaqir O’Neal, the youngest son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, announced on his Instagram page Friday, April 30, that he will be attending Texas Southern University. 

TSU is located in Houston, Texas, and is one of the largest HBCUs in the nation. It enrolls over 10,000 students annually, offering over 100 academic programs. Founded in 1947, the university became the first state-supported institution in Houston. Some of its most notable alumni include former NFL star Michael Strahan and gospel singer Yolanda Adams.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 24: (L-R) Shareef O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, and Shaqir O’Neal attends 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)

Shaqir shared the news with a captionless cartoon photo of himself wearing a TSU basketball uniform, holding a basketball on his right shoulder.

Shaqir O’Neal Photo: @shaqironeall/Instagram

During an interview with Overtime, captured by ESPN, the 18-year-old 6-foot-6 shooting guard expressed that he committed to the Tigers to “change the narrative” on nationally ranked high school ballplayers who choose to attend HBCUs and “do something new,” a similar sentiment made by Miller a month before. Miller plans to attend Tennessee State University, where the rising athlete will play college basketball. Miller opted for an HBCU after declining numerous offers from several D1 schools, including Vanderbilt, UCLA, and more.

Of his decision, Shaqir also said. “A lot of people are going to follow me. You can expect a lot of buckets. I’m trying to get to the [NBA].” 

The senior at Union Grove High School in McDonough, Georgia, also is following in the footsteps of his older brother Shareef O’Neal, who plays for Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Shareef will enter his junior basketball season this fall.

ESPN reported that Shaqir does not rank among the top 100 recruits of the 2021 class and is even listed as a three-star recruit on some recruiting sites. However, he appears to be in good hands, as TSU ranks statistically as the best team in the Southwestern Atlantic Conference in the past decade. The team is led by coach Johnny Jones, who once instructed Shaq as an assistant coach and later became head coach at LSU.

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