Shareef O'Neal won't be starting with UCLA this year as planned, because of a close call with some heart issues that will require him to get surgery.
"Blessed to be here living today, one of those moments on the court could’ve been my last," he said on Twitter. "I will be back basketball world...just wait on me.... I’ll miss you this year but you will always be with me."
Shareef, Shaquille O'Neal's son, told TMZ that the doctors "found a medical issue dealing with [his] heart" during a routine checkup. "Thank God the UCLA medical staff caught it early," he said, without confirming what specific heart issue he's facing. But O'Neal sounds hopeful. Although he won't be starting his collegiate career this year, he plans to continue his studies at the university. "During rehab, I'll be attending my classes and being a normal student," he told the tabloid. He also referred to the surgery as "just a bump in the road" and promised to be back on the basketball court "in no time."
This isn't the first scary situation O'Neal dealt with this year. After he announced that he decomitted from the University of Arizona due to the scandal with their coach—he reportedly received threats about the decision."Half of the people are too blind to accept and they take it to anger. Don’t speak on it if you haven’t lived through it. No need for threats," he said in a now-deleted tweet.