Intends to rejoin USC basketball this season
Bronny James is doing “extremely well’’ following a cardiac arrest episode in July and a subsequent surgery, and is still aiming to play for the USC basketball team this season, his father, Laker superstar LeBron James, said earlier this week.
“He has begun his rehab process to get back on the floor–this season, with his teammates and USC and the successful surgery that he had,’’ LeBron James said. “He’s on the up and up. It’s definitely a whirlwind, a lot of emotions for our family this summer. But the best thing we have is each other. We stuck behind each other and gave Bronny strength throughout the whole process, and we’re happy to see where he is today and we look forward to seeing what his future still has in store for him.’’
The younger James–who turned 19 years old last week–suffered a cardiac arrest during a basketball practice at USC in late July.
In August, the family announced that Bronny has a “congenital heart defect,’’ but that they expect him to make a full recovery and return to basketball “in the very near future.’’
At the time, the family did not give parameters for “the very near future,’’ but LeBron James’ comments Monday gave some indication that the upcoming basketball season is a possibility.
The younger James is a 6-foot-3 incoming freshman guard who played at Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth. He is considered one of the top freshman college players in the country, and a projected lottery pick in the 2024 NBA draft.
While the Trojans held their first practice of the season on Sept. 25 without James, coach Andy Enfield told ESPN the younger James is “going to class and doing extremely well in school, and we’re really excited for him.”
“Bronny’s doing very well,” Enfield said–adding that, beyond that, “we just can’t comment on anything medically.’’
“He’s around when he can be,” Enfield went on. “And he’s getting caught up (with) some schoolwork and doing very well. His grades are excellent right now, and he’s being a true student-athlete.”
Bronny James collapsed on the floor at USC’s Galen Center on July 24 and was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was initially treated in intensive care. He was discharged from the hospital three days later.
In August, the James family said that after comprehensive initial and follow-up exams, “the probable cause of Mr. James’ sudden cardiac arrest has been identified. It is an anatomically and functionally significant congenital heart defect which can and will be treated. We are very confident in Bronny’s full recovery and return to basketball in the very near future.’’
LeBron James, 38, is set to begin his 21st season in the NBA and sixth with the Lakers. The all-time NBA scoring leader has said he would like to remain in the league long enough to play alongside his son.