See Shaquille O'Neal's Son, Who's a Successful Model
Shaq's 24-year-old son has modeled for Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, and Givenchy, among others.
It can't be easy when your dad is one of the most famous basketball players in the world, and your mom is a mogul and the creator of a hit TV show. But it appears that Myles O'Neal, the son of all-time basketball great Shaquille O'Neal and his ex-wife Shaunie O'Neal, is forging a path of his own. Myles isn't the biological child of Shaq—though he's said to have embraced Myles as one of the family alongside his children with Shaunie, Shareef O'Neal, Amirah O'Neal, Shaqir O'Neal, and Me'arah O'Neal, and his oldest daughter Taahirah O'Neal, who he had with Arnetta Yardbourgh.
But while four of his five half-siblings have followed in their father's footsteps by pursuing college basketball careers, Myles has taken a different path. Read on to find out what Shaq's oldest son is up to now.
Myles grew up on TV with his famous family.
Shaunie and Shaq were married in 2002, when Myles was five years old, and their divorce was finalized in 2011.
In 2010, Shaunie produced and created Basketball Wives, a very successful VH1 reality show based on her time married to a basketball legend. The show features the wives, ex-wives, girlfriends, and ex-partners of famous basketballers, and it continues to air today.
Myles made his television debut on the show, appearing on it periodically beginning on his 13th birthday. He later appeared with his mother and family on a spin-off show called Shaunie's Home Court.
Myles O'Neal broke with the basketball tradition to pursue a career in fashion.
Myles launched his modeling career with a bang around three years ago by scoring a gig with Dolce & Gabbana. He walked in their Men's Spring/Summer 2018 show in Milan and followed it up with a debut at New York Fashion Week walking the runway for Descendant of Thieves.
Since then, he's modeled for and starred in ads for a host of brands, including Givenchy, Michael Kors, and Under Armour.
A Coach ad was of particular importance to Myles because it was for a collaboration with Disney. "I go to Disneyland every single year on my birthday with my whole family," he said in a 2020 interview with Paper magazine. "I make them dress up in Disney outfits, and we wear the hat, and my mom makes fun of me because I'm a grown man and I want to go to Disneyland on my birthday but that's all I want to do."
He is the latest in a long line of children of celebrities who have pursued modeling as a career. In fact, he's even been photographed out and about with Brandon Thomas Lee and Dylan Jagger Lee, the model children of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson. He's also modeled alongside Kaia Gerber, the lookalike daughter of Cindy Crawford.
Myles attributes his interest in fashion to a chance run-in with Pharrell.
O'Neal told Paper he developed his love of fashion early on when he was in elementary school—thanks to musician Pharrell, who founded the streetwear clothing lines Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream.
"We were literally leaving the Beverly Hills Hotel, and Pharrell was there," he told the magazine. "He ran up to my dad and was like, 'Yo, I'm gonna send your kids like some of my brands, like BBC and Ice Cream stuff.' We get back to Miami, and we get this huge box of clothes. I think that was the day that I really thought about looking nice."
Myles says he's still regularly asked why he doesn't play basketball.
A career as a fashion model wasn't necessarily top on Myles' list of career pursuits until a bit later. He told Paper his peers "made me realize you can really make a living off of doing fashion. And it really just helped me step into like a more creative mindset and space."
He said that though his family is supportive, he's still regularly badgered about not playing basketball. "Even in my Instagram bio, it says, 'I don't play basketball.' But every day, at least five people will DM me and say, 'Why don't you play basketball?' They'll comment on my picture: 'You're the only [one] who doesn't play basketball SMH.' I feel like it's something people expect of me," he told the Coveteur in a recent interview.
But Myles continues to forge his own path. He recently modeled a collaboration between edgy downtown fashion company Babylon LA and Guess.
Along the way, he's developed an open mind about fashion. "Having style and wearing nice clothes are completely different things. I see a lot [of] people, and they'll just buy nice clothes—it might not even be something that looks good on them. But they'll just buy it because it's Balmain or because it's Gucci," Myles told the Coveteur. "You don't have to buy expensive clothes or name brands to look good in them. I think you can look good in anything that's going to represent you. I'd rather buy stuff that represents me instead of wearing stuff that's cool. And it's fine if the cool stuff represents you, then that's different. Clothes are supposed to complement how you think, and how you feel, and how you want to present yourself to everyone."