Will Wade

LSU basketball coach Will Wade interacts with fans during the Tigers' 82-30 victory over Tennessee on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in the PMAC

Boot Up: Shareef O'Neal, the former four-star prospect and son of LSU legend Shaquille O'Neal, has officially announced he’s headed to Baton Rouge to follow in his father’s footsteps next season. 

The 6’9, 220-pound forward decided to transfer from UCLA on Jan. 22 after averaging just 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. O’Neal was forced to take a medical redshirt his freshman season after discovering a heart condition that required surgery. He was cleared to resume basketball activities four months later.

“I’m going to LSU,” O’Neal told Sports Illustrated in an interview. “It’s real big footsteps [to follow], but I’m ready for it. It’s a great program. Louisiana is a different scene.”

During his recruitment, O’Neal was rated the No. 41 overall player in the nation and No. 8 power forward, according to 247Sports Composite. With his commitment, he joins an LSU 2020 class ranked No. 9 nationally, joining five-star Cameron Thomas, four-star Mwani Wilkinson, Georgetown transfer Josh LeBlanc and others.

LSU [18-6, 9-2] currently sits at atop the conference in a three-way tie with Auburn and Kentucky, but it certainly appears like the Tigers are here to stay in the SEC.

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