Days after being cleared by doctors to return to the court following his cardiac arrest, USC freshman guard Bronny James now looks likely to make his college debut on Sunday against Long Beach State.
Longtime college basketball reporter Seth Davis is reporting that LeBron James’ eldest son could play as early as December 10. Although, writing for The Messenger, Davis cautioned that USC coach Randy Enfield has not set any timetable on Bronny’s return.
Bronny suffered a cardiac arrest in July during a workout at Galen Center and was found to have a congenital heart defect that was treatable.
LeBron expects to be in the crowd whenever the 19-year-old Bronny does make his debut for the Trojans. The Los Angeles Lakers legend previously told reporters he’d go so far as to skip one of his own games to see Bronny play in his first for USC.
‘Family over everything,’ LeBron said in Oklahoma City last week. ‘Definitely got to see Bronny’s first game whenever he’s cleared and ready to go.’
Freshman guard Bronny James watches USC play against Eastern Washington last week
Bronny James (left) could make his debut Sunday with his father LeBron (right) on hand
Bronny gave Trojan fans a quick glimpse at what he can offer by taking part in warmups before USC played No. 11 Gonzaga in Las Vegas on Saturday.
He appeared to be upbeat and jovial as he knocked down seven consecutive 3-pointers at one point during warmups, and then joined assistant coach Kurt Karis for an impromptu dance move on the sideline.
‘He seemed unafraid,’ ESPN analyst and former Duke star Jay Williams told The Messenger. ‘There was a workmanlike approach to how he operated. You could tell he’s been around professionals.
‘I asked him what he felt like he needed to improve on. He said, ‘My handle needs to be tighter, but that will come with reps.’ There was no cockiness. There was just confidence that he was going to figure it out.’
Bronny ignited the crowd when he rose up and jammed home a one-handed dunk. And he reinforced that he’s getting closer to making his collegiate debut.
James was expected to have a final evaluation with USC staff before resuming practice this, a family spokesperson said in a statement. He’ll be able to play in games ‘soon after,’ the statement said.
Bronny James walks through the handshake line after USC defeated Eastern Washington
In addition to Bronny, USC also boasts the nation’s top recruit in Isaiah Collier (right)
When the team returned to the court for the start of the game, James took his spot at the end of the bench, donning gray USC sweats. He cheered on the Trojans and stood at the back of the huddle during timeouts.
USC’s next home game is December 10 against Long Beach State, which falls in the middle of a six-day break for the Lakers before they head to Texas for three straight games, and before the Trojans hit the road for four straight.
Although USC boasts one of college basketball’s top recruits in guard Isaiah Collier, the Trojans have struggled to start the 2023-24 season after falling Gonzaga, Oklahoma and lowly UC Irvine.
The Trojans have beaten Kansas State and Seton Hall, but they still have to face top-ranked Arizona two more times this season, not to mention crosstown rival, UCLA.