Who is Amirah O'Neal?
Amirah Sanaa O'Neal is an American basketball player currently studying at Crossroads High School in Santa Monica, California. She is the second of four children of NBA Hall of Fame centre, Shaquille O'Neal, and his former wife and reality television personality, Shaunie Nelson. A native of California, Amirah has always been interested in basketball and began playing the sport when she was quite young. Before her, her older brother, Shareef O’Neal, had decided to follow in their father’s footsteps into the world of basketball. In later years, her other siblings would take up the sport as well. Like her father, Amirah plays as the centre and is unarguably the most valuable player in her team. She seems to have inherited her father’s height and is already six feet two inches tall. Her team, the Roadrunners, has won several matches because of Amirah, a fact that has garnered a significant amount of media attention. Among all her siblings, Amirah’s playing style is the closest to that of her father.
Going into the same profession as your parents has never been an easy choice to make. One has to accept the facts that they will forever be compared to them and judged on how they have maintained their legacy. Amirah is fortunate in this regard, as Shareef was the first among the siblings to make that choice and bear most of the burden of expectations. This has granted her relative privacy to build a solid foundation as a basketball player. However, if she ultimately decides to be a professional basketball player, she will bring some much-needed media attention to women’s basketball, which continues to be criminally underrated.
At present, she is a student at Crossroads High School in Santa Monica, California, and plays as the centre for the Roadrunners. She had a pivotal role in the team’s performance in one CIF Championship. She registered 17.2 points per game on average and received an honourable mention during the selection of the MaxPreps 2019 California All-State Girls Basketball Team, as well as the Cal-Hi Sports Division IV All-State Team. She has been selected to the All-CIF four times, All-Gold Coast League three times, and All-State two times. Amirah is slated to graduate from high school in 2020.
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Family & Personal Life
Amirah was born on November 13, 2001, in Los Angeles, California, USA, to Shaquille O'Neal and his former wife Shaunie Nelson. She has one older brother, Shareef; one younger brother, Shaqir; and one younger sister, Me'arah. She also has an older half-brother named Myles, born to her mother and her former romantic partner, and a younger half-sister named Taahirah, born to her father and his former girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourgh.Generally regarded as one of the greatest players in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) history, Shaquille is a four-time NBA champion, three-time NBA Finals MVP, one-time NBA MVP, 15-time NBA All-Star, one-time Olympic gold medallist, and one-time FIBA World Cup champion. In 2016, he became a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. Shaquille and Shaunie tied the knot on December 26, 2002. After five years, on September 4, 2007, Shaquille went to the court seeking a divorce from Shaunie. While they patched things up that time, the couple ultimately divorced in 2011. Despite this, they have been equally involved in Amirah and her siblings’ upbringings.
Her name means royal lady or princess in Arabic. According to many sources, Shaquille is a Muslim, but he once said, “I'm Muslim, I'm Jewish, I'm Buddhist, I'm everybody 'cause I'm a people person.” Her mother is a Baptist. As a result, she had the opportunity to grow up in a multi-religious and secular household.
Her biological paternal grandparents are Lucille O'Neal and Joe Toney. However, Joe Toney was not much involved in Shaquille’s upbringing and gave up his parental rights after Lucille married Phillip A. Harrison, a career army sergeant. It was Harrison who served as the father figure in Shaquille’s life. He was also part of the lives of Amirah and her siblings until his death in 2013. Amirah has two paternal aunts, Lateefah and Ayesha, and one paternal uncle, Jamal.