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Proud Shaquille O'Neal Presents Daughter Me'Arah with No. 24 Jersey for McDonald's All-American Game

Me'Arah O'Neal will play in April's highly-coveted high school game 35 years after her dad did in 1989

<p>NBAonTNT/YouTube</p> Shaquille O

NBAonTNT/YouTube

Shaquille O'Neal Gifts His Daughter Me'Arah with Her McDonald's All-American jersey
  • Shaquille O'Neal's daughter, Me'Arah, will compete in the 2024 McDonald's All-American Game

  • The Lakers legend presented his daughter with her jersey for the tournament during a TNT segment on Thursday

  • Shaquille played in the highly-coveted game in 1989

Shaquille O'Neal shared a special moment with his daughter, Me'Arah O'Neal, as she celebrated her selection to the 2024 McDonald's All-American Game and commitment to the University of Florida.

During Thursday night's episode of Inside the NBA, Shaquille, 51, and his TNT co-hosts invited Me'Arah, 17, to join them for a special segment.

"First of all, I want to say I'm so proud of you, and I love you," Shaquille told his daughter as he handed her a bouquet of flowers when she joined the Inside crew on stage.

"And I wanted to present you with this," he added before unveiling her No. 24 jersey for the 2024 McDonald's All-American Game, a highly coveted basketball game featuring a roster of the best high school players in the country.

Shaquille played in the game in 1989, while other previous McDonald's All-American selected athletes include Magic Johnson, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan. Last year, LeBron's son, Bronny James, knocked down five three-pointers in the 2023 game.

Related: Everything to Know About Shaquille O'Neal's Family (He's a Dad of 6)

This year's McDonald's All-American Game will be held on April 2 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

During the TNT segment, Me'Arah shared what her reaction was to being selected. "I didn’t even have any thoughts, I just got up and ran. Once they said, 'Me'Arah O'Neal,' I was gone," she quipped,

Jokes aside, Me'Arah said that "it means a lot" to her to be following in her father's footsteps with the selection.

<p>Cassy Athena/Getty </p> Me'Arah O'Neal

Cassy Athena/Getty

Me'Arah O'Neal

In November, Me'Arah committed to the University of Florida, where she'll play for the Florida Gators. During her interview on Inside the NBA, the 2024 All-American selection said she wanted to play for the Gators because of the team's "amazing" coach, Kelly Rae Finley.

"She's just amazing," Me'Arah said, adding, "She's invested in my character outside of basketball."

Related: Shaquille O'Neal 'Believes' in Nepotism — but His Kids Need to Show Him a 'Business Plan'

Me'Arah told ESPN that a visit to Florida's campus in September convinced her it was the right choice for her, rather than her father's alma mater, LSU.

"I went on the Florida visit, and I had a feeling that's where I belonged," she told ESPN. "And that I was going to be most successful if I went to go play at Florida."

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Shaquille also spoke to ESPN at the time, explaining that he "tried to stay out of" his daughter's decision on a university, even after calling her visit to LSU "one of the best moments" of his life.

"What I did tell her is, 'Go where you're needed, not where you're wanted. Because if you go where you're wanted and they got other people like you, may take a while.' I want [my kids] to have their own journey, have their own experience," Shaquille said.

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