strength

Meet the NBA’s Next Generation

They got now—they don’t care who has next

Shareef%26Shaq mobilehero 0
Getty Images

ONE37pm watermark
September 27, 2018

Platinum recording artist Kendrick Lamar rapped, “I got hustle though, ambition, flow, inside my DNA.” The lyrics are off of the song “DNA,” which is on K. Dot’s Pulitzer Prize–winning album DAMN. When it comes to some of basketball's best-known families, Kendrick's word applies. But when you have a legacy and name to protect, you better ensure your progeny has got what it takes. When it comes to the NBA’s next generation, a few major prospects don't fall too far from the tree.

 

SHAREEF O’NEAL

Shareef O'Neal is a rising freshman who will be suiting up for the UCLA Bruins Basketball Program this upcoming 2018-2019 season. O'Neal was a Jordan Brand All-American at the Crossroads School. His father, Shaquille, was a force to be reckoned with in college and in the NBA, finishing his career with four NBA rings, a 15-time NBA All-Star and a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary Team. Changing the way the center dominates the game, you’d have thought his son Shareef would follow the path his father set for him.

 

But O'Neal’s game isn’t much like his father’s. O'Neal is a 6’9” forward who displays an array of skills his father didn’t have, such as being a solid mid-range shooter and a versatile offensive threat who can attack the rim as well by using his crafty ball handling skills.

 

Ranked as the No. 29 player in the nation in ESPN’s top 100 high school players in the class of 2018, O'Neal had major Division I powerhouses knocking on his door. Despite a recruiting scandal (O'Neal de-committed from Arizona after the FBI claimed to have a copy of a phone conversation detailing a $100,000 payment for DeAndre Ayton's commitment), UCLA won him over. With Arizona, Arizona State, and cross-town rivals the USC Trojans gunning to become Pac-12 champs, UCLA has a good shot with a second-generation superstar in the making.

 

BOL BOL

O'Neal will be facing off against the Oregon Ducks where they recruited a “giant” secret weapon to make a run to the national championship.

 

Meet Bol Bol, a 7’2” center who is ready to make a major impact the moment he steps onto the court in Eugene. Bol is the son of one of the tallest NBA players in history, Manute Bol. Like his dad, Bol's tall wiry stature causes fits on the defensive end. In addition, he’s able to develop a sweet touch around the rim along with draining long-range threes, attributes that will cause major mismatches as the season progresses.

 

While attending Findlay Prep, Bol became a McDonalds High School All American, averaging 20.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Bol has always been a walking attraction the minute he stepped foot on the court. After his eighth grade year, he was receiving offers from schools such as New Mexico State and he was only 6'5”. The only question that scouts are contemplating is whether he'll continue to grow. Only time will tell as the Ducks are on every major hoop insider radar for this upcoming season.

 

COLE ANTHONY

While Shaq and Manute’s sons are prepping for the next level, there has been a young product positioning himself as this year’s best high school player. Say hello to Cole Anthony. No, there is no relation between him and Melo, but he is the son of 11-year NBA vet and NBA TV analyst Greg Anthony. Cole is the No. 1 point guard in the class of 2019 according to 247sports.com.

 

This Queens native is already dubbed the next “it” point guard. His freakish athleticism, court awareness, shooting ability and in-game tenacity has major Division I products such as Duke, UNC, Kansas, Georgetown and Kentucky on his coattails. The famed SLAM Magazine has covered Anthony as he’s joined the ranks with greats such as Stephon Marbury, Lance Stephenson, Kenny Anderson and Mark Jackson as the Big Apple’s next HS hoops superstar.

 

Unfortunately for NYC prep fans, he will not stay at home to finish his career. Anthony transferred from Molloy High School and into prep school powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. Hooping for a prep program such as this sets any elite baller up for the next level. Some of the NBA best such as Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo, Carmelo Anthony and Brandon Jennings have played for the storied program. Often ranked in USA Today’s Top 25 High School Rankings, Oak Hill Academy will have an intense regular season schedule. Cole is poised to be the face of this team and to continue the reputation that holds all thoroughbred NYC ballers: tough, gritty and hard-nosed.

 

LEBRON JAMES JR.

Filling the shoes of any superstar father is a daunting challenge. But what if your father is LeBron James? Sports fans today may be lucky that we may become “witnesses” of a new GOAT. Yes, you can mention LeBron James as the greatest of all time. But years from now, don’t be surprised if his sons Bryce Maximus and Lebron Jr. dethrone “His Airness.” Bryce is only an 11-year-old with a sweet stroke from three-point range. But LeBron’s eldest, Bronny Jr., will have some major shoes to fill.

 

Bronny Jr. attends Sierra Canyon High School, which is a modern pipeline for blue-bloods. Scottie Pippin Jr. (Scottie Pippin), Kenyon Martin Jr. (Kenyon Martin), and Cassius Stanley, one of the top rising seniors in the nation, all play on the basketball team. With Bronny joining the program, he is being introduced to attention not a lot of 14-year-olds can handle. With a major IQ, precocious court vision and a developing ability to finish, Kanye West and Drake may have to reserve some seats to watch “the Fresh Prince” lead his squad to a championship. The hoops world will soon know whether he has his father’s killer instinct or will just be an average basketball player.

 

After all, average can’t and won’t settle when you partake in the highest levels of basketball. It’s a must that you bring your game, not just your name.