Bronny aims to play for USC if he clears exam

MIAMI — If USC freshman Bronny James passes a medical examination later this month, he will return to practice with the intention of appearing in game action this season, his father, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, said Monday.

Bronny suffered cardiac arrest during a team workout in July and underwent successful surgery to repair what the James family referred to as a likely congenital heart defect.

With the Trojans’ season tipping off against Kansas State on Monday night, James offered an update on his 19-year-old son.

“Things are going in the right direction with Bronny’s progress,” James said after the Lakers’ 108-107 loss to the Miami Heat. “He’s doing rehab. Every week he gets to do more and more and more. We have a big moment at the end of this month to see if we can continue to go forward. If he’s cleared, we’ll be not too long away from him being back on the floor and back with his teammates and practicing, with the notion of being back on the floor and playing in game situations.”

Bronny was on hand as No. 21 USC beat Kansas State 82-69, watching from the bench at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“Bronny is a terrific basketball player, but he’s even a better person and his family has been so supportive,” Trojans coach Andy Enfield said after the game.

Bronny has attended several Lakers games this season and was caught on camera celebrating a dunk by his father late in the Lakers’ win over the LA Clippers last week.

James announced at the Lakers’ annual media day last month that he was dedicating this season, his 21st in the NBA, to his eldest son.

“Everything is on the up and up,” James said. “We’re proud of his progress, we’re proud of his strength. And between all the doctors that he’s seeing from everywhere he’s been … all his [physical therapy] people and USC included and everybody, they’ve done a hell of a job of getting him to the point today and we want to continue to go forward.”

Bronny was a heralded recruit in the 2023 class, joining the No. 1 recruit in ESPN’s rankings, Isaiah Collier, in making USC a projected NCAA tournament team this season. Prior to his health scare, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound combo guard was projected as a first-round pick in the 2024 NBA draft.

ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez contributed to this report.

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