Bronny James is back in classes in Southern California and doing well after he went into cardiac arrest during a workout last month, USC basketball coach Andy Enfield said Monday.
James, who is the eldest son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.
"The good thing is he's doing extremely well and he's in class right now. And we all love him," Enfield said, via The Associated Press. "I think everybody is hopeful that Bronny will return to the court. We just have to be patient and take it step by step … Our goal is to support Bronny in any way we can academically, athletically, and be patient with how things develop in his return.”
James was rushed to a hospital after he collapsed and lost consciousness during a workout at the Galen Center at USC in July. He was released from the hospital two days later.
The James family said in a statement Friday he had been diagnosed with a significant but treatable congenital heart defect, which is the probable cause for his cardiac arrest. Specifics about the heart defect aren’t known.
“We are very confident in Bronny’s full recovery and return to basketball in the very near future,” the family said in a statement, in part. “We will continue to provide updates to media and respectfully reiterate the family’s request for privacy.”
Sports cardiologists told Yahoo Sports that such defects are structural heart issues that develop during pregnancy and are present at birth. The fact the family said his condition was treatable, Mass General Brigham sports cardiologist Meagan Wasfy told Yahoo Sports, is “obviously very promising news.”
“You don’t want sudden cardiac arrest to start with, but when there is a procedure or remedy to reduce risk if the athlete returns to sport, that’s an update that creates optimism for the future,” she said.
James committed to USC over Ohio State and Oregon in May after averaging 14 points and five rebounds per game at Sierra Canyon High School in Southern California last season. The 6-foot-3 guard was a four-star Rivals.com recruit, and the No. 27 recruit in his class.
"He's a terrific basketball player and was playing very well [before the cardiac arrest]. We all think there is a big upside in his game and he can help our team win," Enfield said, via The Associated Press. "It was a little later in the recruiting cycle and also was different because he comes from a pretty good basketball family. But it really didn't change our recruiting pitch because we're very honest with people and showed him an opportunity that we thought he could have here at USC. His parents were terrific through the whole recruiting process and have been very supportive since."
While the family is optimistic about his return to the court, it’s unclear when that will happen. The Trojans are set to open their season on Nov. 6 against Kansas State in Las Vegas. They went 22-11 last season, which was Enfield’s 10th with the program, and were knocked out of the first round of the NCAA tournament for a second straight year.