Eighteen-year-old James was a McDonald’s All-American just like his father, but he was among the few remaining freelance high school basketballers.
LOS ANGELES — LeBron James’ eldest son, Bronny, says he will play basketball at the University of Southern California in the fall.
Bronny James abruptly announced his much-anticipated decision on social media Saturday, about two hours before his father’s Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.
18-year-old James was a McDonald’s All-American just like his father, but he was among the few undecided elite high school basketballers heading into the summer. The eponymous son of NBA history’s top scorer played at the Sierra Canyon School, known for educating scions of the sports and entertainment industry in Chatsworth, a suburb of Los Angeles.
James announced his decision by writing the Trojans’ school slogan, “Fight On,” under a photo of himself in his high school uniform in the Trojans’ locker room at the Galen Center.
James and his Sierra Canyon team played at the arena last January, beating a team from Wheeler High School in Georgia led by elite recruit Isaiah Collier – who is now James’ teammate at USC.
Having opted to stay close to home for college, the 6-foot-3 guard will join an already-filled Trojans roster resulting from the school’s third straight NCAA tournament appearance under coach Andy Enfield comes.
Several key employees from last season’s team are returning, led by Star Guard Boogie Ellis. USC will also have Guard Collier, one of the top recruits in the current high school class.
Many recruiting observers wondered if USC’s strong guard list would deter Bronny James from staying in Los Angeles for college and perhaps lead him to Oregon or an alternative to college. Instead, the son of the four-time NBA champion and league MVP did not shy away from the challenge of contributing to USC’s recent rise in national prominence.
The younger James’ full name is LeBron James Jr., but he is much better known by his nickname. His younger brother, 15-year-old Bryce, is also an elite Sierra Canyon college aspirant.
LeBron James was an active, supportive parent to his sons’ basketball dreams. He has also frequently mentioned his desire to play in the NBA alongside Bronny, although the logistics of such a dream would be daunting.
Last month, James spent the Saturday between the Lakers’ 81st and 82nd regular-season games flying back and forth to Portland. James made the one-day trip with his mother, wife and children Bryce and Zhuri to see Bronny play for Team USA at the Nike Hoop Summit.
The final game of Bronny’s high school career was important enough to propel James through the rigors of an NBA season and for the long journey onto a plane
“I didn’t want to miss it,” James said. “I understand the importance of fatherhood, coming straight from a fatherless household. … We always try to support each other in all our endeavors. I’m only as good as my family.”