After leaving LSU where he was a two-time All American, Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, thus beginning his legendary NBA career. With his massive 7″1′, 320 pound frame, Shaq would use his size, strength and skill to utterly dominate his opponents. Shaq won three NBA championships in a row with the Los Angeles Lakers alongside his friend and rival, the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and won another NBA championship with retired NBA star Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat. In addition, he won three NBA Finals MVP (Most Valuable Player) awards with the Lakers, won the NBA MVP award in 2000 and was a 15-time NBA All-Star. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2016.
Shaq had a epic NBA career, and by his side every step of the way were his kids, who also inherited their father’s passion and vitality. Here are five questions and answers about the O’Neal children
1. How many kids does Shaq have?
Shaquille O’Neal has six children (five biological children and a stepson). He married reality television star Shaunie O’Neal in 2002 and together they had four children: 20-year-old Shareef, 18-year-old Amirah,16-year-old Shaqir and 13-year-old Me’arah O’Neal. Shaq also has a daughter, 23-year-old Taahirah O’Neal, who he had with his ex-girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourgh and his stepson, 23-year-old Myles O’Neal, whom Shaunie had during a previous relationship.
2. Are they following in their dad’s footsteps?
Yes, most of Shaq’s kids also play basketball. Shareef currently plays for his father’s alma mater LSU and Amirah was a high school basketball player at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California. Shaqir plays for Union Grove High School in Georgia and Me’arah also plays basketball at Santa Monica’s Crossroads School. Taahirah doesn’t play basketball, but she works with charities, while Myles is a photographer and a fashion influencer.
3. Who is Shareef O’Neal?
Shareef is the oldest of Shaq and Shaunie O’Neal’s children. After missing his freshman season as he recovered from heart surgery in December 2018, he played a season with UCLA before announcing his transfer to LSU in February 2020, which his father was quite pleased about.
4. Is Shaq still married to Shaunie O’Neal?
No. Shaq and Shaunie first started dating in 1998 after Shaq split with Arnetta Yardbourgh, and they married in 2002, having their four children together. In 2009 the couple divorced, citing irreconcilable differences. However, their relationship is on good terms and they co-parent their children together.
5. Is Shaq strict or lenient with his kids?
Shaq may be lenient with his children in some areas, but he is firm when it comes to their education; making sure his kids take it seriously. “I expect them to do their best … You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have education, you can’t make it grow,” says Shaq. “I didn’t want to be like 80% of the athletes who stop playing and have nothing. I don’t want to be part of that statistic. So I educated myself. I want that for my kids, too.”