Ayesha Harrison Jex Biography
Ayesha Harrison-Jex was the sister to former professional American basketball player Shaquille O’Neal. She died on October 24, 2019 at the age of 40, due to cancer. She was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 23, it went to remission and reappeared three years ago.
Ayesha Harrison Jex Family
Ayesha is the daughter of Philip Harrison and Lucille O’Neal. Lucille is a director at Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund, Inc. who studied Organizational Management at the University of Phoenix. Philip was a soldier in Newark who died in 2013.
Ayesha Harrison Jex Siblings
Ayesha had three siblings Shaquille O’Neal, Lateefah O’Neal and Jamal O’Neal.
Ayesha wrote a section in Shaq’s book, Shaq Talks Back. In the book she discussed growing up in Germany with Shaq and her other siblings. They played a game called “Taking Off the Socks” because their dad had “these real thick sports socks.” The goal was to pull the socks off the other person.
“Because Shaquille was older, he was either taking care of us or entertaining us. Shaquille taught us how to play basketball. He taught us how to swim. All four of us used to just hang together.” She added, “Shaquille knows his family has his back; they’re supporting him. People call him ‘Shaq’ but it just doesn’t seem right to me. To me, he’ll always be Shaquille. Shaq is almost like another person.”
Ayesha Harrison Jex Son
Harrison was a mother to one son, Bryce Harrison who plays basketball and was named by his middle school player of the year.
On June 11, 2019 Harrison tweeted; “My baby is the 2019 Seminole County Middle School player of the year. #proudmom High School here he comes 🏀.”
— Ayesha Jex (@ATheprettyone2) June 10, 2019
Bryce graduated from middle school in July 2019. According to Prep Hoops he began playing basketball in the second grade. He added that he has received an offer from Tennessee State University.
— BryceHarrison🎒 (@BryceHarrison2x) July 20, 2019
After news about his mother’s death surfaced he wrote on twitter ‘I love u mama..’
Love u mama…… https://t.co/UUDmFN7IrI
— BryceHarrison🎒 (@BryceHarrison2x) October 25, 2019
Ayesha Harrison Jex Cancer
Ayesha was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 23. According to CBN, Ayesha’s mother Lucille revealed that Ayesha was diagnosed with cancer behind her ear, close to her lymph nodes, a cancer that develops in older people, at the age of 23. At the time of the diagnosis, Ayesha was a college student.
Lucille said that it was very hard for her, “This was very hard for me. It is hard to be the caretaker because you feel so helpless.”
Ayesha was later declared cancer-free after undergoing treatment. Ayesha was the first person to have cancer in the family as Lucille’s mother Odessa died of ovarian cancer in 1996. The family established the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund to help parents and provide grants for individuals pursuing a career in nursing. They also assist students needing incidentals such as medical supplies, laptop computers, and other necessities that are not accessible through basic tuitions. The fund also provides scholarships for education and cancer research.
Ayesha appeared at a charity event for cancer held by Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund, Inc. in May. The organization shared photos of her on Facebook and wrote, “Ayesha Harrison-Jex Graces the runway after she shared her testimony as a cancer survivor during the Celebration of Life Fashion Show.”
Ayesha Harrison Jex Death
Ayesha died on October 24, 2019. Her death was announced by O’Neal’s co-host Ernie Johnson on Thursday’s episode of TNT’s Inside the NBA.
“We have to tell you why you’re not seeing Shaquille O’Neal here on the set tonight. Basically the ‘Big Fella,’ who I’ve described as ‘the biggest kid in the world,’ his heart is breaking tonight. He said his world revolves around his brother and two sisters. And he lost one of his sisters this morning.” He added, “I’m trying to put into words the way Shaquille has reacted to this, and he’s struggling and when he struggles, we struggle with him. Because he’s one of our brothers and we feel for him tonight.”
“Big Fella, you hang in there.”
Ernie, Kenny, Charles & Commissioner Silver’s thoughts are with the O’Neal family pic.twitter.com/5yUtdhjWkZ
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 24, 2019
Ayesha Harrison Jex Funeral
Ayesha will be buried in a military cemetery next to her dad, Sgt. Philip Harrison.
Ayesha Harrison Jex Tributes
Shaquille O’Neal‘s other co-hosts sent their condolences to his family;
Charles Barkley said; “I want to just give a special shout-out to his mom, Miss Lucille, who was best friends with my mom. When my mom passed away, she came and spent her last few days with my mom. So I just want to give Miss Lucille a hug and tell her I love her. What she did for my mom at the end … I can never thank them enough, and I feel for her and Shaquille. And the rest of the family also.”
“He’s … the big family guy. We always see his kids, his family always around. One of the most difficult things about being close to someone and working with them this many years — you get to know them and their family and their friends, so you hurt so much more just as much as you have the pain, just as much as you have the joy … That’s part of being a family, experiencing the joy and the pain.” Kenny Smith said.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said; “We always talk about the NBA as a family and it’s times like this where we’re together and we’ve all known Shaq’s mom Lucille since he came into the league and I met his sister many times. So from everyone at the league, but me personally, my condolences to Shaq … to his family.”