Shaqir O'Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, is staying in the HBCU basketball world, as he transfers to Florida A&M after three seasons at Texas Southern University. His cross-conference move marks a new chapter for both him and the Rattlers.

The addition of Shaqir O'Neal brings a much-needed infusion of talent, versatility, and experience to the Rattlers. Head coach Patrick Crarey II expressed his excitement about O'Neal's arrival, stating, “Shaqir has played in one of the premier programs in our conference and for a great head coach. He brings versatility, athleticism, and experience to our team. I'm excited he chose me to help him achieve his goals.”

Shaqir O'Neal's time at Texas Southern was a period of growth and challenges. In the past two seasons, he averaged 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game in 8.5 minutes per game. Despite limited playing time, O'Neal had notable moments, including scoring a career-high 12 points and grabbing seven rebounds against North American in 2022. He also had strong performances with eight points in the season opener last season at New Mexico and six points at Creighton.

However, O'Neal struggled to find his ideal fit at Texas Southern, leading to his decision to enter the transfer portal in March. Now, he looks forward to a fresh start with the Florida A&M Rattlers, under the guidance of nre head coach Patrick Crarey II.

O'Neal's time at Texas Southern showcased glimpses of his potential, with head coach Johnny Jones highlighting his progress over the offseason. “One of the new guys that we’re really happy and excited about is Shaqir O’Neal,” Jones said at the time. “I think people that hadn’t had an opportunity to see his offseason workouts – I think he’s done an awesome job in transitioning in the last two years and we’re looking forward to him making an impact with us and for us as well.”

Florida A&M has faced significant challenges in recent seasons, finishing the 2022-2023 campaign with a disappointing 7-22 overall record (5-13 in conference) and a 6-23 overall record (4-14 in conference). The team faced a particularly tough loss when they were upset by SIAC program Albany State University in a 92-85 finish on November 29th.

With his transfer to Florida A&M, O'Neal has the opportunity to further develop his skills and make a significant impact on a team in need of a boost. His versatility and athleticism will be crucial as the Rattlers aim to turn their fortunes around in the upcoming season.