Bronny Jamesthe son of Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron Jamesseems ready USC Trojans Debuted Sunday against Long Beach State, nearly five months after suffering cardiac arrest during a practice in July.
He was cleared by doctors to return to basketball on Nov. 30 and completed practice earlier this week before receiving full-contact clearance from USC. He took part in his first full-contact practice on Thursday.
In a statement in August, the James family said Bronny James had a congenital heart defect that was treatable, according to the medical professionals involved in his care.
James, a top-20 recruit in the class of 2023, arrived at USC last spring. He spent his high school career at Sierra Canyon High School (California) and developed into a bona fide NBA prospect in recent years. James took part in a highly touted USC coaching recruiting class Andy Enfield as one of four ESPN 100 prospects – including Isaiah Collierthe No. 1 overall recruit in the 2023 class and the projected No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.
Here’s a look at key moments in James’ path to college basketball.
Bronny James has been cleared by doctors to return to basketball, according to James Family 🙌 pic.twitter.com/6LDw9Pr5XL
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) November 30, 2023
July 21, 2018: Unofficial visit to Duke
Bronny visits Duke’s campus with him North Coast Blue Chips grassroots team.
May 29, 2019: On the way to Sierra Canyon
The Los Angeles Times breaks the news that Bronny – who just completed eighth grade – and his younger brother Bryce are leaving Santa Monica Crossroads and Enrolling at Sierra Canyon.
September 3, 2022: Travel to Ohio State
Bronny and LeBron visit Ohio State for the Buckeyes’ football game against Notre Dame and stand on the sidelines of the Horseshoe. A few days later, Bronny posts a photo on Instagram of him in an Ohio State basketball jersey with the hashtag #notcommitted. LeBron was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, while Bronny was born in Cleveland.
January 24, 2023: Selected for the McDonald’s All-American Game
Bronny is one of 24 players selected for the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game.
March 29, 2023: McDonald’s All-American Game
Bronny played 20 minutes for the West team and finished with 15 points and four assists while shooting 5-for-8 from 3-point range. He also competed in the dunk contest.
April 6, 2023: Bronny breaks his silence
Bronny hadn’t interviewed in his entire high school career, especially considering his attitude. But at the Nike Hoop Summit Finally, he speaks publicly about the recruiting process.
“When I talk to them, talk to the coaches, it’s good to know they want me there,” Bronny says in response to a question about All-Star teammates recruiting him to certain schools. “But in the end it’s my decision and I have to make the right one for me.”
May 6, 2023: Commitment to USC
“This is an incredible thing,” LeBron added. “Obviously his father didn’t go to school. His mother didn’t go to college. It’s super cool. … USC is getting a great kid. He’s there to play basketball, [but] They’ll be very surprised at what a great kid he is, even though they’ve been recruiting him for a while.”
May 10, 2023: USC receives letter of intent
USC officially announces the signing of Bronny James, who will join the Trojans’ 2023-24 roster.
June 14, 2023: Arrive at USC
USC posts a tweet Announcement of Bronny’s arrival on campus. “Bronny has arrived,” it says.
July 24, 2023: Bronny suffers a cardiac arrest while practicing
Bronny is treated by medical staff, taken to hospital and placed in intensive care.
July 25, 2023: Bronny is in stable condition and is no longer in intensive care
A spokesman for the James family released a statement confirming the cardiac arrest and the trip to the hospital. “He is now in a stable condition and is no longer in the intensive care unit,” said the spokesman.
“LeBron and Savannah would like to publicly express their deepest gratitude and appreciation to the USC medical and athletic staff for their incredible work and commitment to the safety of their athletes,” the statement continued.
August 25, 2023: Bronny’s heart defect is considered treatable
In a statement, the James family says Bronny’s heart condition – which was diagnosed as a congenital heart defect – can be treated and the family expects him to return to the basketball court.
Oct 2, 2023: LeBron says Bronny intends to play this season
During the Los Angeles Lakers’ media day, LeBron James said Bronny was on campus taking classes and doing “extremely well.” He adds that Bronny has started the rehab process to be able to play again this season.
November 7, 2023: LeBron says Bronny has an upcoming medical exam
LeBron James says Bronny will return to practice with the intention of appearing in game action if he passes a medical in late November.
“Bronny’s progress is going in the right direction,” says James. “He’s doing rehab. Every week he has to do more and more. We have a big moment at the end of this month to see if we can move forward. When he’s free, we won’t be waiting much longer for him to be back on the floor and with his teammates and training, with the idea of being back on the floor and playing in game situations. “
November 19, 2023: Bronny does warm-up exercises before the game for the first time
Before USC’s game against Brown, Bronny warms up with his teammates for the first time. “It was great. He did warm-up exercises with the team. He is a big part of our program and our team. He’s a great teammate,” Enfield said. “We look forward to hopefully getting him back on the pitch one day, but when that happens, it’s not my decision. We will be patient and go through the process.”
November 23, 2023: Bronny does warm-ups before the game for the second game in a row
James does warm-ups before USC’s game against Seton Hall. He reportedly fired three shots from the corner.
“Yes, he is with us and studies the game,” says Enfield. “He’s watching his teammates’ participation and play and hopefully he’ll be out there soon.”
November 30, 2023: Bronny gave the go-ahead to play
A spokesman for the James family announces that Bronny has been cleared by doctors to return to basketball and that he plans to return to practice next week and games soon after.
“The James family would like to thank the incredible medical team, the entire USC community and especially the countless friends, family and fans for their love and support. Keep fighting!” said a family spokesman in a statement.
Dec 4, 2023: Bronny is a limited participant in the practice
James is participating in USC practice on a limited basis and is awaiting approval for full-contact practice.
“Bronny hasn’t been fully cleared by USC yet,” Enfield told ESPN after practice. “He can participate without contact. He’s done a good job of regaining his conditioning and strength and I think he’s on his way to being ready to play very quickly.”
Dec 7, 2023: Bronny takes part in the first full contact training
Three days before USC hosts Long Beach State, James completes his first full-contact practice. The team and medical staff will assess how James is feeling over the next few days before making a decision on whether to clear him for his potential debut, Enfield told ESPN.
Asked whether James should play his first college game on Sunday, Enfield replied: “We expect it.”
“Today was his first day of contact training,” Enfield says after training on Thursday. “He looked good. He needs to get his timing back and get into game shape, but I thought today was a good first day.”