Bronny James takes pregame warmups with USC as return draws nearer

James is bouncing back after suffering a health scare in July

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two days after it was announced Bronny James had been cleared by doctors for a full return to basketball, and just four months after he suffered a cardiac arrest, the Southern California freshman took the floor for warmups with his teammates as they prepared to play No. 11 Gonzaga in the Las Vegas Invitational.

The son of NBA career scoring leader LeBron James was upbeat and jovial as he knocked down seven consecutive 3-pointers at one point during warmups, and then joined assistant coach Kurt Karis for an impromptu dance move on the sideline.

Southern California guard Bronny James warms up before an NCAA college basketball game against Gonzaga Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Sam Morris)

James ignited the crowd when he rose up and jammed home a one-handed dunk. And he reinforced that he’s getting closer to making his collegiate debut.

James was expected to have a final evaluation with USC staff before resuming practice this week, a family spokesperson said in a statement. He’ll be able to play in games “soon after,” the statement said.

When the team returned to the court for the start of the game, James took his spot at the end of the bench, donning gray USC sweats. He cheered on the Trojans and stood at the back of the huddle during timeouts.

After the Los Angeles Lakers’ game Thursday night at Oklahoma City, LeBron James said he would skip a game to attend his son’s college debut if they fell on the same night.

“Family over everything,” LeBron said. “Definitely got to see Bronny’s first game whenever he’s cleared and ready to go.”

USC’s next home game is Dec. 10 against Long Beach State, which falls in the middle of a six-day break for the Lakers before they head to Texas for three straight games, and before the Trojans hit the road for four straight.

Bronny suffered a cardiac arrest in July during a workout at Galen Center and was found to have a congenital heart defect that was treatable.

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