Shaquille O’Neal’s youngest daughter doesn’t follow in his footsteps, but remains in the conference.
Me’Arah O’Neal, the Basketball Hall of Famer’s youngest child and TNT analyst, officially committed to play women’s basketball at Florida on Sunday.
“I did the Florida visit and felt like I belonged there,” Me’Arah said. . “And that I would be most successful if I played in Florida. I felt like I connected with Coach Kelly.” [Rae Finley] more than I could connect with any of the other schools that recruited me. She really cares about me, not only on the court but also off the court. That’s important to me.”
Me’Arah, a 6-foot-1 striker, is the No. 33 recruit . The 17-year-old had several other notable offers to play next season, including at LSU — both of which are defending national champions and where her father played in college before his 19-year career in the league.
Shaq and Me’Arah attended LSU together last spring, which Shaq told ESPN was “one of the best moments of his life.” However, Me’Arah made her college decision on her own – something Shaq was all about.
“Believe it or not, I tried to stay out of it. … What I told her is, “Go where you’re needed, not where you’re wanted.” Because if you go where you’re wanted and they have other people like you, it can be a “It will take a while,” he said. “I want [my kids] to have their own journey, to have their own experience.”
Me’Arah will join Alvia McGill in Florida’s 2024-25 recruiting class. McGill was the No. 16 ranked recruit in the class and is Florida’s highest-ranked recruit of all time. The Gators are 2-0 so far this season, Finley’s third goal of the program. The Gators made it to the Elite Eight of the WNIT, but fell to Bowling Green.
Shaq’s other children also all played in college. Shareef played at both UCLA and LSU and most recently played in the G League. However, he missed his first season with the Bruins after . Me’Arah’s other brother, Shaqir, currently plays at Texas Southern, and her sister Amirah played at both LSU and Texas Southern.