NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal’s son, Sharif O’Neal, 23, 바카라 has shared his heartfelt sympathies for Brownie James, 18, who went into cardiac arrest.
Sharif appeared on the “Now For Later” podcast, which was released this morning (Nov. 27), and detailed his long and painful journey after undergoing open-heart surgery at the age of 18.
Earlier, Sharif had received an abusive comment from a social media user who said, “Look at the results of Brownie starting to hang out with Sharif, stay away from him.” To which he replied, “I don’t want that to happen. He responded by saying, “I’ve been around Brownie for a long time before this happened,” and called it disrespectful.
At the same age as Brownie, Sharif underwent open-heart surgery to repair his anomalous coronary arteries, a heart defect caused by arteries growing in the wrong place. He decided to share his journey with Brownie.
Reflecting on the time, Sharif said his parents’ support was essential to his recovery. He remembers his father telling him, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”
O’Neill’s words resonated with Sharif, who said, “I don’t have a degree from a top university. I don’t really feel good about it, but I really wanted to go pro,” he said, adding that it’s what has kept him going.
“My parents were good about letting me make the decision,” he says, “They never told me they were afraid of me playing. “They never told me they were afraid to play because they knew that would scare me. In fact, it was the last thing I wanted to hear from them.”
He went on to explain the process of overcoming it. Sharif said listening to and producing music helped him get through the tough times until he was ready to get back on the court.
“They didn’t tell me what the recovery process was or when I could get back on the basketball court, so I knew I had to do something for myself,” he said. “So I was scared, but I listened to music, dribbled the basketball, took shots, played mini-games, and slowly built it up,” he said.
He also talked about the cardiac arrest of Damar Hamlin earlier this year. “When he went into cardiac arrest, I felt like I was back in 2018,” Sharif said, adding, “It’s crazy how you can go so long without thinking about it, and then one little thing can bring it all back.” He admitted that he’s still working on fighting his fears.
Meanwhile, Sharif, who joined the Los Angeles Lakers’ Summer League roster in 2022, ultimately failed to land an NBA contract. He later signed with the G League’s Ignite.