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The 2018 NBA Awards

Source: Apega/WENN.com / WENN

Shareef O’Neal was projected to be one of the top college basketball players in the nation after arriving at the campus of UCLA. However, the son of NBA great Shaquille O’Neal will have to postpone his hoop dreams after announcing he’s in need of heart surgery.

TMZ Sports reports:

TMZ Sports spoke with the 18-year-old superstar who said he was having a routine checkup recently when the docs “found a medical issue dealing with my heart.”

Shareef didn’t specify the exact problem — but said the issue is severe enough that he’ll be having heart surgery in the near future.

“Thank God the UCLA medical staff caught it early,” O’Neal tells us.

Shareef says he’s been talking with his dad and mom Shaunie O’Neal about how best to handle the situation — and will NOT withdraw from school while recovering.

“During rehab, I’ll be attending my classes and being a normal student.”

Check out O’Neal’s chat with TMZ in the clip below.

Photo: WENN

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