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Bronny James, LeBron James' son, makes college debut since cardiac arrest

Bronny James shoots the ball during his debut on the court playing for University of Southern California on Sunday.
Jason Armond
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Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Bronny James shoots the ball during his debut on the court playing for University of Southern California on Sunday.

Bronny James, eldest son of NBA legend LeBron James, made his long-anticipated college debut Sunday at the University of Southern California after being sidelined for almost five months.

James suffered a cardiac arrest during a workout in July, losing consciousness on the court. He was treated at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and released a few days later.

According to a family spokesperson, the sudden cardiac arrest was identified as the result of a congenital heart defect after evaluations at several hospitals. Although treatable, congenital heart defects are present at birth and are one of the most common types of birth defects.

In his first game since being out, James played under a minutes restriction, finishing with four points, three rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes. The Trojans fell in an 84-79 overtime loss to Long Beach State.

"Bronny handles the spotlight extremely well. He's a passionate young man about playing basketball," said USC Coach Andy Enfield in a post-game press conference. "I'm not sure what will happen in the future as far as the spotlight, but all I know is that he handles it very well."

"I just want to say I'm thankful for everything," James said in the same press conference after Sunday's game, thanking the Mayo Clinic, his loved ones, his coaches and teammates who supported him during a difficult period of his life. "I just want to give appreciation to everyone who's helped me through this."

Lebron James celebrates after his son Bronny James' first basket for USC on Sonday.
Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Lebron James celebrates after his son Bronny James' first basket for USC on Sonday.

Before his episode, the 6-foot-3 freshman, who plays point guard, was ranked 20th in ESPN's Top 100 2023 recruiting class. He joined the Trojans after becoming one of the top prospects in the nation.

For his debut, James received a standing ovation from the crowd, and LeBron James could be seen supporting him courtside. In the long term, the father-son duo have a dream of playing in the NBA together.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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