LeBron James and Savannah James welcomed their son LeBron “Bronny” James Jr. in 2004
The Los Angeles Lakers player shares three children with his wife Savannah James, whom he wed in 2013. Bronny, 18, is the oldest of the James kids; he and his brother Bryce, who also plays basketball, were born before their parents’ wedding, and their younger sister Zhuri joined the brood in 2014.
Now that his high school career has officially ended, Bronny is on his way to becoming one of the most wanted athletes in the NBA. According to ESPN, he’s considered one of the top five point guards in the country. And while LeBron is hoping Bronny will land a spot on his team the Los Angeles Lakers come the 2024 NBA Draft, the young athlete will attend the University of Southern California first, where he'll wear his father's number for the upcoming season.
While practicing with the team in July 2023, the college student suffered a cardiac arrest. "Medical staff was able to treat Bronny and take him to the hospital," a representative for the James family said.
The young athlete was discharged from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center days later.
Following a rough blow at the 2023 Western Conference Finals, LeBron shared that retirement is definitely on his mind. However, one item remains on his basketball bucket list: to play with his son in the NBA.
"I need to be on the floor with my boy, I got to be on the floor with Bronny," LeBron said. “Either in the same uniform or a matchup against him.”
The four-time NBA champ had already shared this sentiment with Sports Illustrated in 2022. "I put it in the air because I like to talk to the basketball gods out there and see if things can come to fruition. I've always set out goals in my career, talked to the basketball gods, and they've listened to all of them. Hopefully, they can listen to this last one, too,” LeBron said in his cover story.
Here’s everything to know about LeBron James' older son, Bronny James.
LeBron won’t retire until he plays in the NBA with Bronny
No matter the team and no matter the salary, LeBron says he’s committed to spending his last season with the NBA playing on the same team as his oldest kid. During a conversation with The Athletic in 2022, the superstar athlete said he will do “whatever it takes” to make the dream a reality.
"My last year will be played with my son. Wherever Bronny is at, that's where I'll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It's not about the money at that point,” LeBron told the outlet.
Over his tenure, LeBron played on the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat before settling down with the Lakers in 2018. Championships aside, LeBron alludes that he’s willing to spend his last year of professional ball with a different team.
Bronny led his high school basketball team to victory against LeBron’s alma mater in 2019
LeBron was in the stands when he witnessed Bronny and his team beat St. Vincent-St. Mary High School — LeBron’s alma mater in Akron, Ohio — in the 2019 Scholastic Play By Play Classic. According to Yahoo! Sports, Bronny scored the winning point for Sierra Canyon School during the game's final seconds with a lay-up. Sierra came out on top with a 59-56 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
The proud dad marked the “story book moment” with a heartfelt Instagram post. “Last night was such a surreal feeling for me!” he wrote alongside a carousel of videos and photos from the big night. “Watching my son play in our home state vs my Alma mater St. VM who’s still being coached by my mentor, father figure, guy who coached and helped guide me throughout my childhood both on and off the floor Coach Dru Joyce II.”
While seeing Bronny go up against his alma mater — and win! — was “so eerie” for LeBron, he said it was a “special” time and “meant the world to me to be there in attendance.”
“For @Bronny to play the best game of his young high school career so far, make the biggest play of the game and to walk away winning the MVP in his/our home state and his family and friends was a story book moment,” he said.
Bronny was six months younger than LeBron was when he appeared on his first Sports Illustrated cover
LeBron isn’t the only athlete in the James household to land on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In July 2021, Bronny appeared alongside his fellow FaZe Clan e-sports teammates on the magazine cover.
“Video games is his thing,” LeBron said of his son, while celebrating Bronny’s latest achievement during a Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance.
Naturally, the impressive feat turned into a bit of a rivalry between the father-son duo when LeBron claimed that he was younger than Bronny when he landed his first SI cover back in 2002. Eager to prove his dad wrong, Bronny checked the archives.
LeBron recalled to the show’s audience: "When he got on the cover, I was like, 'You know I was younger than you, right?’ And then he did some research — all these kids got all these phones, which we didn't have when I was growing up like that — he was like, 'Dad, no, you were actually six months older than me. Now I'm the youngest guy in the household on Sports Illustrated.’ ”
At the time, Bronny was 16 years old. Meanwhile, LeBron was 17 when he graced his first SI cover donning his St. Vincent-St. Mary high school jersey.
LeBron and Bronny are both endorsed by Nike
In October 2022, Bronny celebrated his 18th birthday by officially becoming a Nike athlete just like his dad. The rising basketball star signed an endorsement deal with the multi-billion dollar sports company and was one of five student-athletes who received deals, three of which were high schoolers, including Bronny.
LeBron has been with Nike since the start of his pro career. The proud dad welcomed his son into the Nike family via a celebratory post on Instagram, writing, “The Legacy Continues On!! Congrats Young King!!”
LeBron and Bronny played in the McDonald's All American Game 20 years apart
In March 2023, Bronny followed his father when he was named one of the 24 male athletes nationwide to be featured in the McDonald’s Annual All American Game. The highly respected showcase took place at the Toyota Center in Houston. Representing team West, Bronny scored 15 points in the exhibition game; however team East ultimately won with a three-point victory, per The Sporting News. In honor of his dad, Bronny wore a number 23 jersey.
LeBron, who played in the all-star game himself in 2003, shared with fans his son’s big news on Instagram. "Ayyyyyyyeeeeee @bronny!!!!!! Congratulations Son! So damn proud of you!" LeBron wrote underneath a screenshot of team West’s player lineup. "Continue to be you through it all no matter what!! You're truly AMAZING!!! #JamesGang👑 ."
LeBron and Bronny are each other’s biggest fans
LeBron and Bronny have relished in a lot of successes over the years, both as individual players and as a father-son duo. LeBron had a crazy run during the 2022-2023 NBA season, which Bronny had a front-row seat to. Not only did he become the first NBA player to ever reach 10,000 points in rebounds and assists, but LeBron also became the highest-scoring NBA player of all time in February 2023.
During a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron scored his 38,388th point, edging Kareem Abdul-Jabbar out of the record-holder position. Bronny, who caught LeBron's historic shot on camera, joined his dad on the court to celebrate.
"Tonight I actually felt like I was sitting on top of the arena tonight when that shot went in and the roar from the arena, from the crowd," LeBron told reporters post-game. "Everything just stopped and gave me an opportunity to embrace it and look around.”
LeBron also rallied his family together to cheer on Bronny at his senior night at Sierra Canyon. The budding star had the pleasure of sharing the court with his younger brother who also plays for Sierra Canyon, while their parents and younger sister watched from the bleachers. Bronny had another high-scoring night and reunited with his family afterward for photos.
“So Damn Proud of the Young Man you’ve become @bronny!!” LeBron wrote in his post-game Instagram tribute to Bronny. “Yesterday we celebrated you for Senior Night! Can’t believe how fast time is flying by but at the same time I haven’t taken 1 second for granted being your dad!"
Bronny will play basketball for USC
In May 2023, Bronny announced on Instagram that he’ll head to USC to further his education and basketball career.
"Fight On ✌🏾 #committed," Bronny said in his caption. The newly minted college athlete included a photo of himself sporting his Sierra Canyon School jersey in the Trojans' locker room at his future home, USC’s Galen Center. His post has racked up over two million likes and remarks from USC alum and former pro ball players like Nick Young.
Meanwhile, LeBron couldn't stop bragging about his son’s huge milestone. “I’m proud of him. This is an incredible thing,” he said during a recent post-game conference. LeBron added that Bronny is the first “of the James Gang to go to college.”
He continued, "Obviously, his dad didn't go to school. His mom didn't go to college. My mom maybe stepped on campus for a little bit, maybe a community college or something, but she had [me] running around, so she couldn't spend much time in the classroom.”
"It's very, very, very, very exciting, very humbling and a great moment for our family," LeBron said.
Surrounded by his dad and family, Bronny signed his letter of intent for USC on May 18, 2023.
In June 2023, the USC Men's Basketball Twitter account shared a photo of Bronny in his red and gold basketball jersey. The photo revealed that the college student will be wearing his dad's number, No. 6, for the upcoming season.
"FIRST LOOK: Bronny James will wear No. 6 for the Trojans. 👀," the caption read.
Bronny suffered from cardiac arrest in July 2023
In July 2023, Bronny suffered from cardiac arrest during a basketball practice at USC.
The following day, a representative for the James family released a statement explaining, "Medical staff was able to treat Bronny and take him to the hospital. He is now in stable condition and no longer in ICU."
The representative added, "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."
The day after Bronny's medical emergency, Bryce showed support for his brother by sharing a photo on his Instagram Story. In the picture, Bryce showed Bronny something on his phone as they walked together.
"Will have more to say when we’re ready but I wanted to tell everyone how much your support has meant to all of us! #JamesGang," LeBron added.
Bronny was discharged from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center that same week and, on July 28, was spotted enjoying a night out with his family. The group went to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Santa Monica, California.
An insider told PEOPLE that "LeBron and the family are regular guests" of the restaurant and said that Bronny "was pretty quiet, but did seem to enjoy the food." The source added that "LeBron kept expressing how grateful he is" as people came up to the family to express their well wishes for Bronny.
In August, a spokesperson for the James family said they were "very confident in Bronny’s full recovery and return to basketball in the very near future."
Bronny joined his dad and brother on a 2022 issue of Sports Illustrated
For the magazine’s August issue in 2022, LeBron posed alongside his sons Bronny and Bryce. The headline read “Chosen Sons,” a nod to LeBron’s 2002 SI cover that famously gave him the nickname “The Chosen One.”
When asked by reporter Chris Ballard if he plans to stay in the NBA long enough to play with both his sons, LeBron responded, “I like to throw things out in the airwaves, but I'm not one to [say] what's going to happen in the next two to three years. I am a visionary, but I'm also a guy that lives in the moment."
Albeit, LeBron said that at the end of the day it comes down to whether his mind and body are up for the challenge. "I feel like I could play for quite a while," he said. "So it's all up to my body, but more importantly, my mind."
LeBron added, "If my mind can stay sharp and fresh and motivated, then the sky's not even a limit for me," LeBron added. "I can go beyond that. But we shall see."
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