Bronny James
Bronny James

Bronny James, the son of basketball legend LeBron James, said he was "thankful for everything" as he made his college debut less than five months after collapsing with a cardiac arrest.

The 19-year-old came off the bench in the first half for the University of Southern California in their 84-79 defeat by Long Beach State.

James was found to have a congenital heart defect in July and was cleared to return to the sport in November.


"Proud of you kid," LeBron James said.

"Today you've given me more life."

The four-time NBA champion, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, added in a post on Instagram: "Can't even tell y'all how EMOTIONAL today was for me! I'm literally drained and all I can say is @bronny you're simply INCREDIBLE!!


"Damn the wins and loses that will occur. You've already won the ultimate goal/championship and that's LIFE!!!"

LeBron, 38, was courtside for the game alongside family members including his other children, son Bryce Maximus and daughter Zhuri.

They rose to their feet when James first scored with a second-half three-pointer. James had earlier received a standing ovation from the crowd on entering the game.

Bronny played for 16 minutes, scoring four points with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.

"I just want to say I'm thankful for everything," he said afterwards, also thanking the medical staff that treated him, his family, coach Andy Enfield and his team-mates "during this hard time in my life".

James also received well wishes on social media including a message from three-time NBA champion Dwayne Wade, who wrote: "Watching Bronny walk out on that court gave me chills.

"Welcome back to the game you love, Bronny.