Bronny James, son of Lakers legend LeBron, declares for 2024 NBA Draft after just one season at USC – nine months on from suffering cardiac arrest during offseason training

Bronny James, son of Lakers superstar LeBron James, has declared for the NBA Draft, the 19-year-old announced Friday.

The 19-year-old freshman has declared for the draft after just one season as USC, during which he missed the first eight games after suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest in early July during the Trojans’ offseason workouts.

Bronny will also enter the NCAA transfer portal to maintain his college eligibility, he revealed.

The guard will work out for and visit NBA teams and make a draft decision depending on evaluation, according to Shams Charania.

Whether Bronny will be taking to the court alongside his famous father in the NBA next year or still playing college hoops, his future will not lie in Southern California.

Bronny James, son of Lakers superstar LeBron James , has declared for the 2024 NBA Draft

Bronny James, son of Lakers superstar LeBron James , has declared for the 2024 NBA Draft

The 19-year-old could look to play alongside his famous father in the league

The 19-year-old could look to play alongside his famous father in the league

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He appeared to confirm that his time with the Trojans had come to an end as he thanked the school in his statement on Instagram.

‘I’ve had a year with some ups and downs but all added to growth for me as a man, student and athlete,’ Bronny wrote.

‘I’ve made the decision to enter the NBA Draft while maintaining my college eligibility, and will also be entering the NCAA transfer portal.

‘Thank you to USC for an amazing Freshman year, and as always thankful for my family, friends, doctors, athletic trainers and fans for their support.’

In his only season playing for Southern California, so far, Bronny has appeared in 25 games with six states, averaging 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his 19.4 minutes per game.

He had been expected to have a greater impact on the Trojans’ season but the procedure to treat a congenital heart defect following cardiac arrest sidelined him for five months and severely impacted his productivity as a freshman at USC.

Bronny missed the first eight games of his true freshman season after suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest in early July during the Trojans’ offseason workouts.

Bronny will need to be evaluated and approved by the NBA’s Fitness to Play Panel before he can become eligible to participate in team workouts, the draft combine in May or be selected in the draft, in the aftermath of the cardiac arrest.

The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement requires that players invited to the Chicago draft combine must participate in the scouting event for teams and submit to a physical.

Playing on a minutes restriction to start off his college career, he scored four points, as well as two rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a chase-down block reminiscent of his father in his first game against Long Beach State on December 10. He played 16 minutes in that game as the Trojans were stunned, 84-79.

LeBron James, Bryce James, Zhuri James, Savannah James and Bronny James at The 2023 ESPYS held at Dolby Theatre

LeBron James, Bryce James, Zhuri James, Savannah James and Bronny James at The 2023 ESPYS held at Dolby Theatre

Bronny missed the first eight games of the season after suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest

Bronny missed the first eight games of the season after suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest

Bronny James goes into cardiac arrest during workout at USC

Bronny would then go on to make his first career start against Colorado on January 13. He then started three consecutive Pac-12 games before coming off the bench in USC’s next two matchups. He was reinstated into USC’s starting five for three more games after that before coming back off the bench for the remainder of the season.

Earlier this week, LeBron had denied reports that Bronny was headed for the transfer portal but admitted his son had some ‘tough decisions’ to make.

‘I don’t know where [the reports] came from but at the end of the day, Bronny is his own man and he has some tough decision to make… As his family we gonna support whatever he does,’ James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin after his 23-point and nine assists performance on Tuesday.

However, it now appears Bronny has reached a decision on those tough choices as his time at USC comes to an end.

LeBron James has spoken frequently about his desire to play a season in the NBA with Bronny, the first of his three children with his wife, Savannah.

‘I need to be on the floor with my boy, I got to be on the floor with Bronny,’ James told ESPN in January 2023.

‘Either in the same uniform or a matchup against him,’ he said. ‘. . . But I would love to do the whole Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. thing. That would be ideal for sure.’

LeBron James denied reports this week that his son would enter the transfer portal

LeBron James denied reports this week that his son would enter the transfer portal

LeBron is under contract for one more year in LA.

If Bronny decided to return to collegiate basketball, Duquense is expected to be a prominent landing spot.

LeBron rooted for Duquesne at this year’s NCAA men’s tournament and the school’s new coach, Dru Joyce, was a high school teammate of LeBron’s and a longtime James family friend.

Back in 2022, the Dukes also tried recruiting James’ youngest son, Bryce, at just age 15 by giving him a Division I college scholarship.

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