Jeff BorzelloESPN Staff Writer5 Minute Read
Four-star guard Bronny James, son of NBA superstar LeBron James, announced his commitment to USC on Saturday.
Bronny James made the announcement on Instagram.
A 6-foot-3 guard from Cleveland who attended Sierra Canyon School (California), James is considered one of the top five point guards in the country. He was ranked as the No. 19 prospect in the ESPN 100 for the class of 2023 and earned McDonald’s All American honors this season.
LeBron James also shared the announcement on Instagram, writing, “So damn proud of you kid!”
LeBron James also gave plenty of kudos to his son after the Los Angeles Lakers routed the Golden State Warriors 127-97 in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series.
“Congratulations to my son on his next journey, on picking a great university,” James said. “I’m proud of him.”
Although he isn’t completely sure about all of his great-grandparents, the elder James said he believes Bronny is the first person from his family to go to college.
“This is an incredible thing,” LeBron added. “Obviously, his dad didn’t go to school. His mom didn’t go to college. It’s super cool. … USC is getting a great kid. He’s there to play basketball, [but] they’re going to be super surprised at how great a kid he is, even though they’ve been recruiting him for a while.”
LeBron James has been an active, supportive parent for his sons’ basketball dreams — youngest son Bryce James is 15 — even amid the demands of a pro career now in its 20th season. The elder James also has frequently mentioned his desire to play in the NBA alongside Bronny, though the logistics of achieving such a dream would be daunting.
If Bronny left USC after one season in 2024 and then landed an NBA job, his father would turn 40 during his son’s rookie season.
“I was serious,” James said. “And I’m still serious about it. Obviously, I’ve got to continue to keep my body and my mind fresh, I think my mind most importantly. … But at the end of the day, I’ve done what I had to do in this league, and my son is going to take his journey.
“Just because it’s my aspiration [to play together] doesn’t mean it’s his, and I’m absolutely OK with that,” James added. “My job is just to support my son in whatever he wants to do. … One thing about being a parent is it’s not always about what you want. It’s about listening to your kids and what they want, and that’s when you get a real relationship.”
Bronny James averaged 11.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the Strive For Greatness program on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and summer, then followed that up with stellar performances in high-profile games during the high school season. James had 13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals in the Hoophall Classic against Christopher Columbus (Florida), shooting 3-for-8 from 3-point range.
He had 15 points and four assists, making five 3-pointers, in the McDonald’s All American Game and then had 11 points in the Nike Hoop Summit.
In ESPN’s early 2024 NBA mock draft, James is projected as the No. 10 pick — with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony citing his ability as “arguably the best perimeter defender in his high school class” as his biggest asset.
James chose the Trojans over Oregon and Ohio State following a long and mysterious recruitment. Throughout the entirety of his high school career, there was very little concrete information about which schools were involved and where he might end up for college. There was even a stretch in which going the pro route for a year before entering the NBA draft appeared to be an option.
He finally broke his silence last month at the Nike Hoop Summit, speaking publicly about his recruiting process for the first time — without giving away any hints.
“Talking to them, talking to the coaches, it’s good to know they want me there with them,” James said in response to a question about all-star game teammates recruiting him to certain schools. “But at the end of the day, it’s my decision and I need to make the right one for me.”
James will now suit up for Andy Enfield and the Trojans, joining a preseason top-25 team and one of the best backcourts in the country. USC is expected to bring back all-conference guard Boogie Ellis, the team’s leading scorer at 17.7 points per game, while it also has elite point guard Isaiah Collier, the No. 1-ranked high school senior in the country.
“Welcome to the family,” Ellis tweeted to Bronny.
James is one of the best jump shooters in the class, especially off the catch, and his defense, facilitating and basketball understanding at both ends of the floor will give USC two-way production. James is expected to play mostly off the ball at USC and be a second or third ball handler when needed.
Information from ESPN’s Paul Biancardi and The Associated Press contributed to this report.