Bronny James’s Cardiac Arrest Doesn’t Have to Derail NBA Dream

LeBron's 18-year-old son is in stable condition after the scary incident

Bronny James talks to his dad LeBron James at a high school All-Star game.
Bronny James and his dad LeBron are still hoping to play together in the NBA.
Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty

Bronny James going into cardiac arrest while participating in a team practice at the University of Southern California on Monday is a nightmare scenario for the 18-year-old basketball player, but it doesn’t mean his dream of playing in the NBA alongside his father LeBron has to end.

The younger James, who was transported to a local hospital and is in stable condition on Tuesday after leaving the intensive care unit, is entering his freshman year at USC and is the sixth-rated point guard in the class of 2023.

“Yesterday while practicing Bronny James suffered a cardiac arrest,” a James family spokesperson said in a statement. “Medical staff was able to treat Bronny and take him to the hospital. He is now in stable condition and no longer in ICU. We ask for respect and privacy for the James family and we will update media when there is more information. LeBron and Savannah wish to publicly send their deepest thanks and appreciation to the USC medical and athletic staff for their incredible work and dedication to the safety of their athletes.”

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After news about what had happened to James broke online, many people shared their thoughts. Some were kind and informed.

Others were less so.

Whatever the cause of Bronny’s medical issue, it’s certainly scary and could prevent him from playing basketball again depending on his diagnosis. But, there’s also reason for optimism that the younger James will be back on the court again soon and he plays on Bronny’s team.

Last July, incoming USC freshmen center Vincent Iwuchukwu suffered cardiac arrest and was hospitalized for a few days after collapsing at practice. Athletic trainers used an automated external defibrillator to revive Iwuchukwu and he eventually had a battery-powered cardioverter-defibrillator implanted in his chest, according to The Associated Press. Iwuchukwu returned to play for the Trojans during the second half of last season, appearing in 14 games.

At this time, there’s no way to know what medical professionals will recommend for Bronny, but it’s safe to assume he’ll have the best care money can buy and access to the best doctors in the world. If something can be done that will allow him to continue to play basketball, safely, it’ll almost certainly get done. Clearly, as what happened with Iwuchukwu shows, there are options.

“The goals don’t change,” Iwuchukwu said in February. “The process to get to the goals might change, but the goals don’t change for me. I always want[ed] to be a NBA player. I’ve been working toward that…The course to get to that goal has been shifted a little bit, but the goal doesn’t change for me.”

As long as doctors say it is safe for him to play basketball, Bronny probably won’t change his goal either.

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