Westwood Village, CA. Following the announcement from UCLA that Shareef O'Neal, son of the former NBA super star Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal, had committed to play basketball for the Bruins next year, reports circulated that the elder O'Neal would become head coach at Westwood.
"Shaq" had made no secret of his desire to coach after many outstanding seasons in the NBA, including several on championship teams. And the timing was perfect. UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford had received only a one year extension of his contract at the beginning of the current season, and a less than spectacular showing by the Bruins made it unlikely that he would remain at UCLA beyond the NCAA playoffs.
Young O'Neal, who had previously signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Arizona, renounced his commitment there, and, with great fanfare by the Bruins, re-committed, this time to UCLA, where he will be a freshman in the fall of 2018.
Rumor has it that his decision to move to Westwood was marked by negotiations between "Shaq" and UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero, leading to the head coaching offer to "Shaq." Beginning in September, O'Neal will become head coach... of the UCLA academic decathlon team.