Saturday, June 3 2023

There are high hopes for Bronny James to have a successful basketball career like his father, LeBron James.

Bronny James, 18, is the oldest of the Los Angeles Lakers star’s three children and is a senior at Sierra Canyon High School in Southern California, where he plays basketball with his younger brother, Bryce, 15.

A recent ESPN mock draft projects Bronny James as a top 10 pick in the 2024 NBA draft, going to the Orlando Magic at No.10, which sparked new conversations around his talent and rising profile.

His father, the new NBA scoring kingsaid in August he had a desire to play in the league with his sons, but said in a 2021 interview he “would just retire” rather than ever suit up for the Magic. James has since adjusted his comments, saying that he would love to share the court with his son, even as opponents.

Of course, Bronny James always has been in the spotlight as LeBron’s son, but he’s beginning to make a name of his own through improved play and social media, where he expands on his interests outside of basketball.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Chasing scoring title, LeBron James restates desire to share NBA court with son Bronny

Here are eight things you should know about Bronny James:

Bronny James’ stats

Sierra Canyon's Bronny James has been selected to play in the McDonald's All American Games.Sierra Canyon's Bronny James has been selected to play in the McDonald's All American Games.

Sierra Canyon’s Bronny James has been selected to play in the McDonald’s All American Games.

Bronny James is a four-star recruit who, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Luca Evans, averaged 13.8 points/game, 5.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals in the regular season of his senior year.

Sierra Canyon won the Mission League title in three of his four years on the team. They won back-to-back Open Division championships his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Earlier this month, the Trailblazers were knocked out of the Mission League playoffs in the semifinals. James had a team-high 19 points in the game, which marked his return after nursing a knee injury.

Bronny James’ NBA draft stock is rising

Bronny James’ draft stock has risen as he’s grown as a player and persevered through injury. He was projected as a Top-10 pick in ESPN’s 2024 mock draft after excelling at the Hoophall Classic in January.

After watching James play in an AAU game in May, For The Win’s Bryan Kalbrosky noted that his defense is what sets him apart and could make him a hot commodity at the professional level.

USA TODAY Sports NBA writer Jeff Zillgitt has also noticed significant development as James heads into the McDonald’s All American Games, an event where only the top prospects are invited.

“He’s jumped from the 50s to 30s, and now top-10 or lottery pick,” Zillgitt said. “The guys in his class haven’t had a lot of improvement. His game has gone to another level. He’s become a better shooter. A better scorer. He could always pass and defend, but he’s elevated the other aspects of the game.

“He’s also gotten bigger in height and gained some muscle.”

USA TODAY Sports will release its initial NBA mock draft in March.

Bronny James has offers from three colleges

While it’s uncertain where Bronny James will go to college, he currently has three offers from top schools on the table. USC, Memphis and Ohio State have all offered the guard an opportunity to play for their programs. James made waves on the Internet in September when he visited Ohio State, his father’s hometown team. When he posted the photos of himself wearing a Buckeyes uniform on Instagram, he made sure that fans knew it was just a visit. “#notcommitted,” he said in the caption.

BIG DECISION: Bronny James expected to choose between Ohio State, Oregon, and USC after high school season

ICON: Bronny James and Memphis basketball? Why Penny Hardaway has a shot with LeBron’s son

Bronny James was selected to the 2023 McDonald’s All American Games

To kick off the year, Bronny James was named to the 46th McDonald’s All American Games, a venerated all-star tournament reserved for the brightest of prospects.

The selection caused debate around the basketball world, wondering if James got the nod because of his father while other top recruits, like Mikey Williams, AJ Johnson and Caleb Foster were left out.

“If he wasn’t LeBron’s son, and I’d seen him at a different high school, I’d say, ‘He’s a good player. He’s top whatever in California, he’s a D-1 guard,'” selection committee member Frank Burlison said.

GREAT DEBATE: Should Bronny James have made McDonald’s All American game? Scouts weigh in.

But James has plenty of supporters who say he does perform at an elite level for his role as point guard.

“If you’re talking about a kid that plays the game the right way, makes the extra pass to the corner kid, can shoot the 3-ball, I feel like he played his way into the discussion,” selection committee member Brandon Clay said.

The event will be played March 28 in Houston.

LeBron James, left, poses with his son Bronny after Sierra Canyon beat Akron St. Vincent - St. Mary in a high school basketball game.LeBron James, left, poses with his son Bronny after Sierra Canyon beat Akron St. Vincent - St. Mary in a high school basketball game.

LeBron James, left, poses with his son Bronny after Sierra Canyon beat Akron St. Vincent – St. Mary in a high school basketball game.

Bronny James will make his Team USA debut in April

Bronny James was selected as a member of Team USA for the Nike Hoop Summit, which takes place April 8 in Portland. James is the only player on the men’s team who has not committed to a college yet. His teammates include five-star recruits Isaiah Collier, Justin Edwards and D.J. Wagner. The team will face off against players from FIBA Africa, FIBA Americas, FIBA Asia, FIBA Europe and FIBA Oceania.

The event was established in 1995 and has produced 90 top-10 NBA draft picks. Other NBA stars who have participated include Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Zion Williamson, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum and Dirk Nowitzki.

LeBron James made his Team USA debut after his sophomore season of high school when he played in the 2001 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival and led his team to a gold medal.

Bronny James is a member of the esports team FaZe Clan

Bronny James was introduced as a member of FaZe Clan in 2020. The collective has won 37 esports championships and enlists brand ambassadors from the sports, music and fashion industries to share the love of the game. Besides James, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is also a member of FaZe Clan. The two appeared together on the cover of a Sports Illustrated esports issue in 2021. On his FaZe Clan profile, James listed “Call of Duty” as his specialty.

Bronny James helped his father design the LeBron XX sneaker

LeBron James introduced the 20th edition of his signature sneaker ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season, the LeBron XX. The shoe is the first low-top design of the 19-time All-Star’s collection. He said it was a direct result of inspiration from his sons, who he enlisted to help design the shoe.

“Understanding the basketball player of today and the people of today like the lower shoe. They like much lower to the floor. They like a little bit more lighter,” James said in September. “I listened to the athletes. I’ve got two of them in my household, so that was pretty easy. I listened to what they wanted to say. They actually sat in on some of the meetings with me. We all listened to them and we made it happen.”

FAMILY TIES: LeBron James dedicates new sneaker to younger generation with design help from his sons

Bronny James wears No. 0 for Russell Westbrook

Sierra Canyon’s Bronny James drives against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's Lance Hayes during the Ohio Play-by-Play Classic on Dec. 17 at Nationwide Arena.Sierra Canyon’s Bronny James drives against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's Lance Hayes during the Ohio Play-by-Play Classic on Dec. 17 at Nationwide Arena.

Sierra Canyon’s Bronny James drives against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Lance Hayes during the Ohio Play-by-Play Classic on Dec. 17 at Nationwide Arena.

LeBron James’ sons don’t feel the need to carry their father’s torch more than his name on their backs. In 2016, James told NBA reporter Dave McMenamin that Bronny wore No. 0 for his favorite player, Russell Westbrook, who at the time was competing for championships with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bryce wore No. 30 for Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.

“I love that they carve their own path,” James said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bronny James: Stats, top colleges and NBA Draft stock for Lebron’s son

Source: Yahoo Sports


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