Me’Arah O’Neal Commits to Play Basketball for University of Florida Gators, Shaquille’s Youngest Daughter

Florida bound: Me’Arah O’Neal.

(L-R) Myles O'Neal, Shaqir O'Neal, Shareef O'Neal, President/COO of Cartoon Network, Stuart Snyder, host Shaquille O'Neal, Me'arah O'Neal and Taahirah O'Neal attend the Third Annual Hall of Game Awards hosted by Cartoon Network at Barker Hangar on February 9, 2013 in Santa Monica, California.

Me’Arah O’Neal, 17, revealed her intention to attend the University of Florida on Sunday. Her father, NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, is a Gator alum.

Me'Arah O'Neal, Shaq's youngest daughter, signs with Florida to play college basketball for Gators

On Sunday, Me’Arah celebrated her decision with family and friends and went on Instagram Live to talk to fans and share photos of the festivities.


It was a “big day,” she told her app audience.


According to ESPN, she chose Florida over LSU, where her father played in college. Me’Arah said that she decided to attend the University of Florida after seeing the campus in September.

“I went on the Florida visit, and I had a feeling that’s where I belonged,” ESPN reported. “And that I was going to be most successful if I went to go play at Florida.”

Me’аrаh mentiоned thаt she wаnted tо plаy fоr Kelly Rаe Finley аnd the Gаtоrs.

“I felt like I connected with Coach Kelly more than I did with any of the other colleges who pursued me. She shows genuine concern for me both on and off the court. “That means a lot to me,” Me’Arah said to ESPN.

After calling his daughter’s visit to LSU “one of the best moments of my life” in an interview with ESPN, Shaquille, now 51, claimed he “tried to stay out of” his daughter’s decision on a university.

аnd I tоld her, ‘Gо where yоu’re needed, nоt where yоu’re wаnted. Becаuse if yоu gо where yоu’re wаnted, аnd they’ve gоt оther peоple like yоu, it cаn tаke а while,” Shаquille tоld his children.

While Me’Arah was touring universities, her father “was just there to support me,” she said.

I was rushing to make a choice, but eventually realized the value of taking my time. “And I came to this conclusion entirely on my own,” she said.

Me’Arah once again expressed her thoughts on Instagram, this time saying, “The best thing about growing up is discovering who you really are.”

Me’Arah expressed her gratitude to her loved ones in a video posted by her mother Shaunie before she left for Florida. Me’Arah said, “And my siblings for motivating me.”

After making her declaration, Me’Arah reposted multiple comments from loved ones. Myles, her sibling, wrote, “Let’s gooooo,” in response to the post.

LeBron James’s son Bronny James, a top basketball player for USC, commented, “proud of you,” on Me’Arah’s post.Me’Arah attended Episcopal High School in Houston and was on the basketball team.

Shareef and Shaqir, two sons, and Amirah and Me’arah, two daughters, are the offspring of Shaquille and his ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal. The NBA player is also the proud parent to Shaunie’s stepson Myles and Arnetta Yardbourgh’s daughter Taahirah.

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