Shaquille O'Neal's contemplates his son's future with illustrious colleges lurking

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Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member Shaquille O'Neal must cast a pretty big shadow metaphorically as well as literally, but his son Shareef is doing a pretty good job carving his own path in the game so far.

The 16-year-old power forward is already 6'8" and weighs 205 lbs, which is over a stone heavier than the 18-year-old Brandon Ingram, who the L.A. Lakers selected with their second pick in the NBA Draft.

Shareef is currently ranked 51st in the 2018 class per RecruitingNation which would place him somewhere in the second round of the draft. But after an excellent sophomore year with Windward High School, Shaq's son's stock appears to be on the rise.

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Speaking to TMZ, Shareef recently revealed that he would be working out with Kobe Bryant over the summer after the Lakers legend approached the teenager at the All-Star weekend in Toronto.

Although he has one more year of high school basketball remaining, after that he will have his pick of the best colleges in the nation where he can showcase his talents before his presumed career in the NBA. It's an important decision in order to get the best out of himself and his father has an opinion on how to do just that.

"I would like my son to play for a coach that's going to teach him next-level stuff," O'Neal said on Monday's edition of "The Big Podcast With Shaq." "I have three in mind: Johnny Jones, LSU, because I know him personally, Calipari and the coach from Michigan State, Tom Izzo.

"I've told my son many times, it's your decision and it is [his] decision. ... I need somebody that's gonna curse him out, treat him like a man. Those three guys are the ones I would like him to play for."

Although it remains his decision, Shareef insists his dad has been in his ear about one illustrious school.

"My dad actually wants me to lean towards Kentucky," Shareef told ESPN. "He has a good friendship with the coach there. I know a lot about that school because a lot of kids dream about going there. I like their style of play."

Shaq didn't deny his son's comments and he gave some solid reasoning behind the idea.

"I've said that," he admitted on the podcast. "The reason why Kentucky [was] because the potential my father saw in me and him knowing that I was gonna go to the next level, I definitely see it in Shareef. The reason why he trusted me with Dale Brown was because he knew Dale Brown could get me to that next level. Not playing-wise or coaching-wise ... discipline-wise."

Whilst it's clear the four-time NBA champion isn't pushing his son in any one particular direction, he did have an attractive reason for his son to follow in his footsteps and attend LSU.

"LSU pays very well," he said laughing. "I'm just playing. I'm just playing."

According to the film Basketball: "Everyone knows Shaq got rich playing in college."

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