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Shareef O’Neal announces plan to depart from UCLA men’s basketball team

Redshirt freshman forward Shareef O’Neal announced he was leaving Westwood on Wednesday night via his Twitter. (Liz Ketcham/Photo editor)

By Jack Perez

Jan. 22, 2020 7:15 p.m.

Shareef O’Neal will no longer be a Bruin.

The redshirt freshman forward announced via Twitter his plans to leave UCLA men’s basketball midway through Pac-12 play.

O’Neal sat out his entire first year in Westwood after he underwent open-heart surgery in December 2018. He came back for the 2019-2020 season and had played 13 games for the Bruins, averaging 10.2 minutes per game while contributing 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

O’Neal thanked former UCLA coach Steve Alford, current coach Mick Cronin and the Bruin fans in his statement. He also mentioned the UCLA medical staff who performed his heart procedure.

Cronin said in an email statement Wednesday that he met with O’Neal on Tuesday to discuss the athlete’s plans to transfer. O’Neal has three years of eligibility remaining in his collegiate career.

“We fully support his decision and are wishing him all the best,” Cronin said in the statement.

O’Neal will be restricted from playing for the rest of this season and possibly the next as he enters the transfer portal. The Bruins, meanwhile, will head to Corvallis on Thursday to face Oregon State with one less man on their bench.

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Jack Perez | Alumnus
Perez was the Sports editor for the 2020-2021 school year. He was previously an assistant Sports editor for the men's volleyball, women's water polo and track and field beats during the 2019-2020 school year and a staff writer on the gymnastics, beach volleyball, women's water polo and men's water polo beats.
Perez was the Sports editor for the 2020-2021 school year. He was previously an assistant Sports editor for the men's volleyball, women's water polo and track and field beats during the 2019-2020 school year and a staff writer on the gymnastics, beach volleyball, women's water polo and men's water polo beats.
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