When Bronny James, son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, collapsed during a July workout at USC, it was difficult not to fear the worst. The 18-year-old James was rushed to a hospital after suffering cardiac arrest.
Following USC's first practice on Monday, head basketball coach Andy Enfield gave an update on James's status.
While he declined to give any medical information or an exact timeline on when James would return, Enfield said per ESPN, "Bronny's doing very well," and added, "But we just can't comment on anything medically. He's going to class and doing extremely well in school, and we're really excited for him."
A family spokesperson said in a statement in late August that James likely suffered from a congenital heart defect, meaning he's had the condition his entire life, probably without knowing it. His heart will require monitoring the rest of his life, but he can resume basketball activities once he's cleared by doctors.
The USC basketball program has been through something like this before. Vince Iwuchukwu suffered a cardiac arrest last summer. Iwuchukwu, then a freshman, missed the first part of last season but made his Trojan debut January 12, playing in 14 games.
James's scare came six months after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a similar incident in a January game against Cincinnati. He, too, recovered and resumed his NFL career.
Enfield is anticipating James doing the same for his team at some point, calling him "the ultimate teammate", someone who cares about winning and has a great relationship with his teammates.
USC had high hopes of a promising season after signing James to go along with a strong recruiting class that also includes point guard Isaiah Collier, the No. 1 recruit in the nation.
Plenty of speculation swirled around whether James would go to college, play in the G League or go overseas until eligible for the NBA. The 6-3 point guard from Cleveland's Sierra Canyon High School was the No. 19 recruit in the country according to ESPN's Top 100. His cardiac arrest put his future in doubt. Fortunately, signs point to a return, although his overall health is the most important priority.
Enfield and the USC basketball program apparently realize this and will not rush James back. Hopefully, he will follow in the footsteps of Iwuchukwu and help the Trojans at some point this season.
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