Months after USC guard Bronny James had a cardiac arrest while practicing in July, the son of Lakers star LeBron James made his collegiate debut Sunday.
Bronny James, a 6-foot-3-inch freshman, came off the bench and played 17 minutes and contributed four points, three rebounds and two assists in USC's 84-79 overtime loss to Long Beach State. A season-high 9,806 fans were on hand in the Galen Center. Among them, LeBron James was there to watch his son's USC debut.
Bronny James told reporters after the game he was thankful for being able to return to basketball after the scary offseason incident.
"I just want to give appreciation to everyone that's helped me through this," he said. "Also my coach, my teammates, all my other coaches that have been with me since the start. I just want to say I am thankful for them."
It was revealed days after being hospitalized that he has a congenital heart defect. James was first hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and released three days later. He rehabbed at the Mayo Clinic.
In late November, a spokesperson for the James family announced Bronny James was clear to resume practice.
The 19-year-old was considered one of the top high school prospects to enter the college ranks this year. James earned praise from his coach Andy Enfield following Sunday's game.
“We recruited Bronny James because he’s a very good basketball player, and we expect him to keep developing and now he's back on the court," he said. "He went through a very unfortunate situation, and he's done an incredible job to get back to this point."
With a large crowd on hand, and much attention following his cardiac arrest, Enfield thought James handled the situation well.
“He's a passionate young man about playing basketball, and I'm not sure what will happen in the future as far as the spotlight as you said, but all I know is he handles it very well," he said.
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