A brief history of the famous fathers and their hoops-playing sons

Shaquille O'Neal is a Hall of Famer. His son Shareef will have big expectations from the moment he steps on campus at Arizona. Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

When Shareef O'Neal, son of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, committed to Arizona on Wednesday, Sean Miller added a five-star prospect to his 2018 class.

Shareef O'Neal (ranked 19th in the 2018 class per ESPN.com.) is a 6-foot-8 power forward who may still grow a few inches and add significant muscle to his frame in the coming years. But it's unfair to compare anyone to Shaquille O'Neal. There is only one Shaq.

If Shareef O'Neal offers even a fraction of his father's former presence, then the Wildcats will benefit. He's an intriguing talent who continues to expand his game in a new era that demands an array of skills from post players.

Still, greatness rarely begets greatness in basketball. In most cases, great players -- or their greater sons -- fail to make similar impacts.

It's more common for a talented son to fulfill the dreams of a father who fell short of his basketball goals or for a legendary father to watch his offspring suffer through comparisons justified by name but not talent.

Here's a list of the most notable father-son combinations in recent NBA and NCAA history.

Dell Curry, Steph Curry and Seth Curry
Before he earned consecutive MVP honors and an NBA title, Steph Curry was just Dell Curry's son and an eventual unheralded recruit who signed with Davidson after high-major programs passed on his services. Dell Curry, the Sixth Man of the Year in the 1993-94 season with the Charlotte Hornets who made 40.2 percent of his 3-pointers in his NBA career, earned a rep as a reliable sharpshooter after his stellar career at Virginia Tech. Now, he's recognized as the father of NBA superstar Steph Curry and once overlooked but rising star Seth Curry (12.8 PPG this season), who played college ball for Duke after transferring from Liberty.

Rick Barry, Jon Barry, Brent Barry and Canyon Barry
We haven't even listed all of the Ballin' Barrys here. Sorry, Scooter and Drew. Rick Barry's basketball tree rivals any NBA legend's. It all starts with him. Barry averaged 24.8 PPG in a decorated career that included an NBA title in 1975, Rookie of the Year (1966) and eight NBA All-Star nods. Jon Barry (17.2 PPG for Georgia Tech in 1991-92) made 39.2 percent of his 3-pointers in a 14-year pro career. Brent Barry played in the NBA for more than a decade too. The first-team All-Pac 12 selection from Oregon State also made 40.2 percent of his 3-point attempts and won a pair of titles with the San Antonio Spurs. And Canyon Barry averaged 11.4 PPG for Florida, an Elite Eight squad, last season.

Bill Walton and Luke Walton
Today, Bill Walton is a must-see college basketball analyst who spends broadcasts talking about everything but basketball. His collegiate and pro numbers were so unbelievable he earned a spot on the NBA's 50th anniversary all-time team even though he struggled with injuries throughout his career. Walton won two NCAA titles at UCLA, three National Player of the Year honors, two NBA championships and two trips to the NBA All-Star game. His son Luke Walton averaged 10.8 PPG as a senior at Arizona. He then won two NBA championships as a noteworthy role player with the Los Angeles Lakers, whom he now coaches.

Mychal Thompson and Klay Thompson
After rising to the 53rd slot in ESPN.com's top-100 rankings for the 2008 class, Klay Thompson picked Washington State, where he averaged 17.9 PPG and made 39 percent of his 3-point attempts. Then he won an NBA title and earned three consecutive invitations to the NBA All-Star Game. Great stuff, but don't forget about his father, Mychal Thompson. The latter, the No. 1 pick in the 1978 NBA draft, was a consensus All-American after averaging 22.0 PPG and 10.9 RPG for Minnesota in 1977-78. He also won two NBA titles as a backup for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s.

Patrick Ewing and Patrick Ewing Jr.
The new Georgetown coach should give every prospect a link to his highlights on YouTube high. Patrick Ewing ended his NBA career as one of the greatest big men of all time. The Hall of Fame center and 11-time All-Star won a title at Georgetown before earning a coveted spot on the NBA's 50th anniversary all-time team. His son, Patrick Ewing Jr., can relate to Shareef O'Neal's plight. He averaged 6.1 PPG as a senior at Georgetown before a brief stop in the D-League. It is hard to follow the greats.

Shaquille O'Neal and Shareef O'Neal
It's sad some young folks might know Shaquille O'Neal only as a TNT commentator and not the most dominant big man in modern basketball history. If you were a kid during the Shaq era, you remember the fluid, gigantic, athletic freak who manhandled the NBA for more than a decade, won four titles and shattered a few rims. All of this after the No. 1 pick in the 1992 NBA draft dominated at LSU (21.6 PPG and 13.5 RPG over three seasons). No pressure, Shareef.

Larry Nance and Larry Nance Jr.
This is the most athletic duo on this list. Larry Nance, who won the NBA's dunk contest in 1984, also earned three trips to the All-Star Game over a 13-year career. The 6-10 forward averaged 17.1 PPG in an excellent NBA career and put an abundance of victims on posters. In college, he led Clemson to its only Elite Eight appearance (1980). His son, Larry Nance Jr., didn't even crack ESPN's list of top-100 recruits in the 2011 class. But he averaged 16.1 PPG and 7.2 RPG before the Los Angeles Lakers made him the 27th pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA draft. The 6-9 forward averaged 7.1 PPG and 5.9 RPG.

Doc Rivers and Austin Rivers
The NBA's current premier father-son combo is locked in a 1-1 series against the Utah Jazz in the opening round of the playoffs. Both admit they weren't that close when Austin Rivers became a McDonald's All-American in high school and eventual one-and-done prodigy for Duke. They certainly share a pedigree. Doc Rivers, a 1988 All-Star and former high school All-American, is ranked 10th in NBA history with 3.3 steals per game. He led Marquette, which has retired his jersey, to consecutive NCAA tournament appearance in the 1980s.

Michael Jordan and Marcus Jordan
Well, the bad news for Marcus Jordan is he faced exaggerated expectations when he joined Central Florida's program. How could anyone come close to arguably the greatest player in the history of basketball? Not possible. The younger guard averaged 15.2 PPG and 13.7 PPG in his sophomore and junior seasons, respectively, at the collegiate level. That's not six NBA rings or anything, but it's far more success than some of the children of other former NBA stars enjoyed.

Tim Hardaway and Tim Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway, the owner of the killer crossover, shattered ankles in the NBA during a career that included five All-Star appearances and a 17.7 PPG average. He also averaged 12.8 PPG and 4.5 APG at UTEP. His son and former all-Big Ten wing Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 14.5 PPG for the Atlanta Hawks right now.

The Kobe Bryant Category
Kobe Bryant didn't attend college, so he doesn't fit the prerequisites for this list. The five-time NBA champion is the son of Joe "Jellybean" Bryant who averaged 21.8 PPG as a sophomore at La Salle. After a stint in the NBA, he became a star overseas. His son matured into one of the greatest players in NBA history.