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Shaquille O'Neal's Son Shareef 'Could've Died' Due to Heart Condition

Shaquille O’Neal‘s son, Shareef O’Neal, “could’ve died” due to a heart condition according to his mother, Shaunie O’Neal on Wednesday night’s (June 19) episode of Basketball Wives.

The 19-year-old UCLA sophomore forward missed last season after being diagnosed with a right anomalous coronary artery, according to his mom, which can cause “chest pain, heart failure or even sudden cardiac death” if left undiagnosed.

He had open-heart surgery in October to correct the abnormality.

“[It's] an artery that just grows in the wrong place. He was born with it. He could’ve died from it. They let us know Shareef needed open-heart surgery. That made my heart break,” she revealed on the show.

He was cleared to return to play basketball in late March, and returned to team workouts in May.

“This is definitely the hardest thing we’ve ever had to face in our lives,” Shaunie said.