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Lakers sign Sons of Shaquille O’Neal, Scottie Pippen
By Amanda Scurlock, Sports Editor
Published June 30, 2022

Shareef O’Neal played for LSU and UCLA (Twitter Photo)

The Los Angeles Lakers recently acquired the offspring of two NBA Hall of Famers. Shareef O’Neal, son of four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal, will join the Lakers’ Summer League roster. Scotty Pippen Jr, son of six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen, signed a two-way contract with the Lakers.

During his draft workout with the franchise, Shareef noted how suiting up for the Lakers was “surreal.”

“It’s amazing to be here, it’s such a blessing,” he said. “From a team I grew up watching, my Dad won championships with this team. Now, that I have on the Lakers stuff, it’s amazing, it’s a dream come true.”

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Pippen Jr. joins the Lakers after a successful career at Vanderbilt, averaging 17.5 points, 4.3 assists, and 1.6 steals during his time there. He is a two-time Tennessee Sports Writer’s Association State Player of the Year. Pippen Jr also earned a spot on the All-SEC first team three years in a row.

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During his junior year, his 20.4 points per game was the top scoring average in the SEC and 14th in the nation. His 4.5 assists per game was sixth in the SEC and 68th in the nation.

“Dreams come true,” Pippen Jr. stated on Instagram. “Let’s get to work #lakeshow.”

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Along with excelling on the hardwood, Pippen Jr. excelled in the classroom and was on the 2022 SEC Academic Honor Roll. As a sophomore, Pippen Jr. scored a career-high of 36 points.

Injuries plague Shareef’s college years, from the heart surgery he had while at UCLA to foot issues at LSU. However, his college career had some highlights; with the Bruins, Shareef made a career-high of 11 rebounds.

Although his scoring average was around two points per game throughout his college career, Shareef scored eight points against Missouri as a junior. His heart issues kept him from showing all the nuances of his gameplay, according to Shareef.

“I feel like I haven’t gotten a real chance to show what I used to do back in high school,” he said. “I feel real good. I work every day. One day, that full potential is gonna come out. I’m gonna get faster, stronger.”

Pippen Jr put on a strong performance at the NBA Combine in May, showing off his keen offensive skills and effective defensive gameplay. During one scrimmage, he scored 21 points. Sources said that the scouts who attended admired his basketball IQ.

Tampa, FL – March 11, 2022 – Amalie Arena: Scotty Pippen Jr. (2) of the Vanderbilt University Commodores during the 2022 SEC Men’s College Basketball Tournament.
(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

Shareef participated in Pre-Draft workouts with the Lakers and the Washington Wizards.

Both Shareef and Pippen Jr were invited to compete in the NBA G League Elite Camp. Shareef scored a double-double (11points and 10 rebounds) during the second day of the Camp.

Pippen Jr. competed in the Elite Camp last year before withdrawing from the 2021 NBA Draft to return to Vanderbilt.

Shareef choosing to head to pro basketball came with opposition from his father, who wanted him to stay in school. During his Pre-Draft workout with the Lakers, he admitted that he has not talked to Shaq regarding his pre-draft process.

“Me and him bump heads about this process, he knows I’m working out for teams,” Shareef said. “He didn’t do any pre-draft workouts, he just got straight on a team, so it’s a different grind.”

Pippen Jr and Shareef played high school basketball in Southern California. Pippen Jr competed for Sierra Canyon where he averaged 16.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game as a senior. He also competed for the Nike EYBL’s Oakland Soldiers where he averaged 15 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.

Shareef helped the Crossroads Roadrunners win the CIF Division II state championship as a senior. During that year, he averaged 27.6 points and 17.3 rebounds per game.

Pippen Jr and Shareef will be competing during the 2022 NBA Summer League from July 7 to July 17.

Categories: Basketball | Sports
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