THE BASKETBALL WORLD is reeling after Bronny James, the son of NBA legend LeBron James, went into cardiac arrest during a training session at the University of Southern California (USC). Bronny was rushed to hospital on Monday morning California time and was taken to the intensive care unit (ICU). The 18-year-old is now in a stable condition.
LeBron James Jr, better known by his nickname Bronny, is a top college basketball prospect and was set to begin his freshman season with USC in November. Bronny went into cardiac arrest during a routine offseason training session in preparation for the USC basketball team’s upcoming tour of Europe. According to TMZ Sports, Bronny suddenly collapsed during the workout and was taken to hospital.
Bronny has now been discharged from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, three days after the medical episode and is recovering at home. Here’s what we know about his current condition, NBA prospects and how common cardiac arrests are for those under 30.
Is Bronny James alright?
After suddenly collapsing during a workout and being taken to hospital, Bronny James is now in a stable condition and has been discharged to recover at home. “He arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center fully conscious, neurologically intact and stable. Mr. James was cared for promptly by highly trained staff,” Dr. Merije Chukumerije said, also indicating that while Bronny’s recovery process will take time, the 18-year-old is showing promising signs. “Although his workup will be ongoing, we are hopeful for his continued progress and are encouraged by his response, resilience, and his family and community support.”
Dr. Chukumerije continued: “Thanks to the swift and effective response by the USC athletics ‘medical staff, Bronny James was successfully treated for a sudden cardiac arrest.”
Earlier in the week, a spokesperson for the James’ family told TMZ Sports: “We ask for respect and privacy for the James family and we will update media when there is more information. 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.”
“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.”
I want to thank the countless people sending my family love and prayers. We feel you and I’m so grateful. Everyone doing great. We have our family together, safe and healthy, and we feel your love. Will have more to say when we’re ready but I wanted to tell everyone how much your…— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 27, 2023
Will Bronny James play in the NBA?
While the senior James’ reputation speaks for itself as a four-time NBA champion and all-time leading scorer, his son is clearly intent on turning the James family into a dynasty. Bronny was scouted by NBA teams before he was even a teenager and has since developed into one of the world’s premier young talents. Not content to live in his father’s shadow, Bronny was named a McDonald’s All-American in high school and committed to USC (one of the USA’s top college basketball programs) in May — the fact that his dad’s LA Lakers are based only three kilometres from USC’s campus may have sweetened the pot during the decision-making process.
The 18-year-old freshman point guard is touted as a top NBA prospect and before this medical episode, was projected as a mid-first round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft and considered to be one of the top freshman point guards in college basketball. LeBron James has often spoken about a desire to play in the NBA with his son before retiring, even saying that he would switch teams to whoever drafts his oldest child.
It’s too early to speculate on how this medical episode impacts Bronny’s NBA hopes, but if his father’s fabled career has shown us anything, its that the James family never gives up.
How have sporting stars reacted to Bronny James’ condition?
Messages of support are being shared on social media from sporting stars around the world, including NBA icons Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young. NFL player Damar Hamlin, who also suffered cardiac arrest during a game with the Buffalo Bills last year, took to Twitter to share his support. “Prayers to Bronny & The James Family as well here for you guys just like you have been for me my entire process,” Hamlin said.
The elder James broke his silence on the incident on Friday morning, clearly grateful for the support he and his family have received. “I want to thank the countless people sending my family love and prayers,” LeBron said today on Twitter. “We feel you and I’m so grateful. Everyone doing great. We have our family together, safe and healthy, and we feel your love. 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!”
Is a cardiac arrest the same as a heart attack?
While they both involve heart problems, a cardiac arrest and a heart attack are not the same thing.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating due to electrical issues, and subsequently can’t pump blood around the body. When this happens, the brain and vital organs don’t get the blood needed to operate.
A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart becomes blocked. When this happens, heart tissue cannot get oxygen, and dies.
In the case of cardiac arrest, sudden collapse and loss of consciousness and breath is common as there are few prior warning signs. Whereas for a heart attack, pressure and tightness around the chest, nausea and dizziness are common before the attack occurs. Cardiac arrest is much more fatal than a heart attack. With no treatment, cardiac arrest can cause death within 10 minutes.
What causes cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrest is far more common in people over the age of 35. As you get older, more and more plaque builds up in your arteries and coronary disease becomes increasingly prevalent, which both cause cardiac arrest. So, it’s rare that someone as young as Bronny would experience it. Cardiac arrest in people under 35 is usually attributed to underlying heart problems and genetic defects, but it is unknown if this is the cause of Bronny’s incident.
Each year in Australia, about 25,000 people have a cardiac arrest out of hospital, but it’s estimated that as few as 5 per cent of these people survive to leave hospital and go home, according to the National Heart Foundation.
What do you do if someone has a cardiac arrest?
A cardiac arrest is a medical emergency. You’ll need immediate help by calling Triple Zero, start chest compressions and using a defibrillator (AED). Importantly: every minute counts when a person is in cardiac arrest — and you don’t need to be a trained paramedic to save a life. For more information, visit the National Heart Foundation.