Shaquille O'Neal and his family
Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

How many kids does Shaq have?

Basketball icon Shaquille O'Neal has raised most of his kids to follow in his footsteps. But how many does he have altogether?

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most famous basketball players of all time.

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His tenure in the NBA stretched for nearly 20 years. He led several teams to championship victories during his career, from his drafting in 1992 through his retirement from basketball in 2011. Following his retirement, Shaq shifted his focus to sports analysis, accepting a job with the Emmy Award-winning Inside the NBA.

With such an illustrious career to follow, Shaq’s family life often takes second tier in the eyes of fans. Many people are so focused on his accomplishments that they don’t know if he even has a wife, let alone children. It turns out that he’s had both over the course of his life, and the latter in droves.

The 49-year-old former Rookie of the Year was married for nearly eight years, and in that time had four children with his ex-wife, Shaunie Nelson. He also shares a child with Arnetta Yardbourgh, a former girlfriend, and considers Nelson’s child, Myles, to be one of his own. That puts his total number of children at 6, ranging in age from 15 to 25.

Shaq’s kids

Shaq apparently welcomes challenges both on and off the court. Six kids will tire anyone out, but it appears that Shaq has managed to be a good dad regardless. He’s remained involved in each of his kids’ lives, even the adult ones.

Myles O’Neal

The eldest of Shaq’s kids isn’t biologically related to him, but that doesn’t make him any less his son. Myles O’Neal has carved out a genuinely successful career for himself as a model, working over the last several years for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Under Armour, and Michael Kors, according to Best Life.

Myles and his dad remain close, even as the eldest O’Neal child’s birthday delves deeper into his 20s. He turned 26 in May, and speaking on his podcast, The Big Podcast with Shaq, Shaq revealed that Myles is entirely self-sufficient.

Shaq revealed that Myles “makes a lot of money modeling.” Enough, in fact, to purchase his own Tesla. As Shaq noted, Myles “did it on his own. No help from daddy.”

Taahirah O’Neal

Shaq shares his second-oldest child with a former girlfriend, Arnetta Yardbourgh. The duo welcomed Taahirah into the world in 1996, and the 26-year-old has been absolutely thriving since. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oglethorpe University and went on to work in social media marketing and community outreach, according to AmoMama.

She started working for PepsiCo in 2020, according to Taahirah’s LinkedIn profile. She describes herself as “a passionate, goal-oriented, and client-focused Social Marketing and Community Outreach Specialist respected for consistently delivering innovative ideas and strategic action plans that maximize brand awareness” in her bio on the site.

Shareef O’Neal

The first of Shaq’s biological kids with former wife Shaunie Nelson, Shareef is also the first to fully follow in his father’s footsteps. The 23-year-old played college basketball for the LSU Tigers during his college years, widely considered one of the most eligible young athletes on the court, before launching into a career with the NBA G League Ignite.

At 6 foot 10, Shareef is just a few inches shorter than his 7 foot 1 father. He’s been a player to watch ever since arriving at his father’s alma mater, despite health issues that slowed him down during the beginning of his college basketball career.

Amirah O’Neal

Yet another O’Neal athlete, Amirah is carving out her own niche in the basketball community. At only 21 years old, she has already been a two-time All-State honoree at LSU, where she played as a forward. In late 2021, she announced her intent to leave LSU for HBCU Texas Southern University.

Her younger brother, Shaqir, joined Amirah at her new university, where the two beef up both the women’s and men’s basketball teams.

Shaqir O’Neal

As noted above, the second-to-youngest O’Neal child decided in late 2021 to attend an HBCU for his college career. He was rated the 24th-best player in Georgia while playing for Union Grove High School, according to FanBuzz, and like the rest of his family, absolutely towers over the competition.

Shaqir is a full 6 foot 7 at 19 years old, and plays forward, like several of his siblings.

Me’arah O’Neal

The youngest of the O’Neal brood is still in high school. Despite her young age — Me’arah is 16 years old — the youngest O’Neal is already showcasing the same athletic talent as many of her siblings. Apparently talent, like height, runs in the family.

Me’arah has already emerged as a shining star at Crossroads School, her Santa Monica high school. She started every game her freshman year, and seems poised to head down the same impressive path as most of her family. 


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Nahila Bonfiglio
Nahila carefully obsesses over all things geekdom and gaming, bringing her embarrassingly expansive expertise to the team at We Got This Covered. She is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor with a focus on comics, video games, and most importantly 'Lord of the Rings,' putting her Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin to good use. Her work has been featured alongside the greats at NPR, the Daily Dot, and Nautilus Magazine.