The Remarkable Journey of Bronny James: Overcoming a Heart Scare to Receive Medical Clearance and Join USC’s Basketball Team in Record Time

Bronny James of the USC Trojans looks on during the Trojan HoopLA event at Galen Center on October 19, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Bronny James, the son of LeBron James who plays for Los Angeles Lakers, has received the green light to fully return to basketball. He had suffered a cardiac arrest during a practice session at USC in July. The James family spokesperson has confirmed that he will be resuming his practice sessions next week and will soon be returning to games. Last August, the family had released a statement stating that Bronny James was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that is treatable as per medical professionals responsible for his care.

Bronny James of the USC Trojans looks on during the Trojan HoopLA event at Galen Center on October 19, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Bronny James, the USC guard and a highly-rated prospect in the class of 2023, has been given the green light to play this season. After spending his high school years at Sierra Canyon High School in California, James is now set to suit up for the Trojans and make his mark in college basketball. He is part of a talented group of recruits brought in by USC coach Andy Enfield, which includes fellow ESPN 100 prospects Isaiah Collier and others. With his NBA potential already shining through, James’ journey to the college ranks promises to be an exciting one.

Bronny James of the USC Trojans is introduced during the Trojan HoopLA event at Galen Center on October 19, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

On July 21, 2018, Bronny went on an informal visit to Duke University along with his grassroots team, North Coast Blue Chips. Moving forward to May 29, 2019, the Los Angeles Times reported that after completing eighth grade, Bronny and his younger brother Bryce left Santa Monica Crossroads and got enrolled at Sierra Canyon.

Bronny James of the USC Trojans is introduced at the Trojan HoopLA event at Galen Center on October 19, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

On September 3, 2022, Bronny and his father LeBron James paid a visit to Ohio State to witness the Buckeyes’ football game against Notre Dame. They were spotted standing on the sidelines at the Horseshoe, soaking in the electrifying atmosphere. A couple of days later, Bronny shared a photo on his Instagram account, where he can be seen sporting an Ohio State basketball jersey with the hashtag #notcommitted. LeBron is an Akron native, while Bronny was born in Cleveland.

Moving ahead to January 24, 2023, Bronny received a major boost to his basketball career when he was among the 24 players selected to participate in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game. This accomplishment is a testament to his dedication and hard work towards this sport.

Bronny James point guard for Sierra Canyon attempts a jumper on Darrian Lewis of St. Vincent-St. Mary during The Chosen - 1's Invitational High...

On March 29, 2023, the McDonald’s All-American Game saw Bronny appear for the West team for 20 minutes and score 15 points, along with four assists. He excelled in long-range shooting, making five out of eight 3-point shots, and also participated in the dunk contest. After his high school career, Bronny had remained tight-lipped about his recruitment, but he finally broke his silence on April 6, 2023, during the Nike Hoop Summit. When asked about his teammates from the all-star game recruiting him to certain schools, Bronny stated that although it was good to feel wanted, he needed to make the right decision for himself. Ultimately, the choice would be his to make.

Bronny James, a freshman, dunks the ball during Sierra Canyons home opener game on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. The team, starring the sons of NBA...

On May 6, 2023, Bronny made a big announcement on Instagram. He revealed that he has decided to commit to USC, and LeBron James couldn’t be more proud of his son. Later that night, LeBron posted a message congratulating his son on the big decision. He also added that this is an incredible accomplishment because neither he nor Bronny’s mother went to college. LeBron believes that USC is lucky to have Bronny on their team, not just because of his basketball skills, but also because he’s an amazing kid. Despite being recruited for a while, USC will still be surprised at how great Bronny is as a person.

Bronny James point guard for Sierra Canyon attempts a jumper on Darrian Lewis of St. Vincent-St. Mary during The Chosen - 1's Invitational High...

On May 10, 2023, the University of Southern California (USC) received a letter of intent from Bronny James, officially announcing his signing with the Trojans’ roster for the 2023-24 season. USC posted a tweet on June 14, 2023, announcing Bronny’s arrival on campus. Unfortunately, on July 24, 2023, Bronny suffered a cardiac arrest while practicing and was treated by medical staff and admitted to ICU. However, on July 25, 2023, a James family spokesperson confirmed that Bronny was in stable condition, no longer in ICU, and thanked the USC medical and athletic staff for their dedication to the safety of their athletes.

A heart defect diagnosed as a congenital heart defect was later deemed treatable, according to a statement released by the James family on August 25, 2023. LeBron James announced on October 2, 2023, during Los Angeles Lakers media day, that Bronny was doing extremely well, taking classes on campus, and had begun the rehabilitation process to return to the basketball court. On November 7, 2023, LeBron James stated that Bronny would return to practice with the intention of playing in game action if he passed a medical examination at the end of November.

Bronny went through pregame warmups for the first time before USC’s game against Brown on November 19, 2023, with reports indicating that he took three shots from the corner. He repeated this on November 23, 2023, before USC’s game against Seton Hall. Finally, on November 30, 2023, Bronny was cleared to play and plans to resume practicing next week before returning to games soon after. The James family expressed their gratitude to the medical team, the USC community, and their friends, family, and fans for their love and support.

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