Is Shaq related to Angel Reese?

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Shaquille O’Neal’s mentorship of LSU basketball star Angel Reese has sparked speculation about their familial relationship, particularly after Reese referred to O’Neal as “Uncle Shaq” in a social media post. The duo’s close bond was further highlighted when O’Neal came to Reese’s defense against criticism from former ESPN anchor Keith Olbermann.

Last year, when Olbermann questioned Reese’s actions on the court, O’Neal swiftly defended her, earning widespread attention for his support. This interaction, along with Reese’s affectionate reference to O’Neal as “Uncle,” led many to believe they were related. Additionally, in October 2023, Reese became the first athlete signed by O’Neal under Reebok Basketball, of which O’Neal is the President.

Despite the speculation, Reese clarified that she is not related to O’Neal by blood. Instead, she views him as a father figure and mentor who has supported her through difficult times. Reese emphasized O’Neal’s genuine care for her well-being, both on and off the court, highlighting his willingness to help her regardless of her basketball career.

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O’Neal’s influence extends beyond his basketball prowess; his charismatic personality and genuine concern for Reese’s personal growth have endeared him to her. Their relationship reflects a deep bond built on mutual respect and support.

As Reese embarks on her professional basketball career in the WNBA, she will undoubtedly continue to benefit from O’Neal’s guidance and support. Despite not being related by blood, their connection serves as a testament to the power of mentorship and the positive impact it can have on an athlete’s journey.