In a shocking turn of events during a basketball scrimmage at the University of Southern California (USC), Bronny James, the son of NBA star LeBron James, experienced a heart scare and was rushed to the hospital on Monday, according to a statement released by the family’s spokesperson.
Bronny, who is a freshman at USC, was immediately taken to the hospital for treatment after suffering the sudden cardiac episode while practicing. The medical staff promptly attended to him, and now he is reportedly stable and not in intensive care, as mentioned in the statement.
“We were in the middle of the scrimmage when Bronny experienced a heart scare. Medical personnel quickly treated him and took him to the hospital. Now he is stable and out of ICU,” the statement stated.
“We value privacy and confidentiality for the James family and will keep the media updated when more information becomes available.”
LeBron and Savannah James are thankful for USC’s medical and athletic staff’s exceptional efforts in ensuring the safety of Bronny and the other athletes.
Bronny, who just graduated from Sierra Canyon High School in Los Angeles this spring, is the new addition to USC’s basketball team. The 6-foot-3 combo guard had been highly recruited, earning a four-star rating, and was featured in the McDonald’s All-American Game earlier this year, representing some of the country’s best high school basketball players.
During his high school senior year, he averaged an impressive 14.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.7 steals per game, and his outstanding performance attracted attention from top colleges, eventually leading him to join USC.
“Your son has so much potential!” LeBron expressed his excitement for Bronny’s enrollment at USC on Instagram. “I love you, without words!!!”
LeBron, 38, will also be enrolling in USC, joining forces with his son in the upcoming basketball season. He has mentioned in interviews during 2022 that playing alongside Bronny in the NBA would be his ultimate goal, making him eligible to play in the NBA in the following year.
The Sudden Cardiac Episode and Athletics
When an athlete suddenly experiences an irregular heartbeat, it could potentially lead to cardiac arrest. Immediate action and proper medical care are crucial in such situations to prevent a life-threatening outcome, according to the American Heart Association. As reported in a study conducted between 2004 and 2008 and later in 2011, cardiac-related sudden death accounted for 45 cases, or about 9 cases annually, among NCAA student-athletes.
One of the most notable cases was Hank Gathers, a star forward from Loyola Marymount University who collapsed during a conference tournament game in 1990 and tragically passed away.
The sudden cardiac episode in young athletes is indeed rare but not unheard of. In January, USC freshman forward Vince Iwuchukwu suffered a heart scare during a workout, and a video posted on Twitter at the start of this year showed Iwuchukwu revealing that he experienced dizziness while resting during the practice.
USC’s athletic trainers, John Yoonamin, Erin Tilman, and Lauren Crawford, performed CPR and used a defibrillator to revive him, ensuring his quick recovery. Iwuchukwu recovered fully and made his return to basketball in January.
Head coach Andy Enfield praised the training staff for their remarkable work, saying, “They do amazing work, not just keeping our athletes healthy but being prepared when something serious happens, and when something serious happened with Vince, they responded swiftly.”
In April, Hamlin informed that he suffered from a heart scare caused by a Commotio Cordis, which occurs when a sudden impact to the chest during a sport alters the heart’s electrical rhythm and may result in ventricular fibrillation.
When a severe blow to the chest results in a rapid disruption of the heart’s electrical charge and becomes life-threatening, immediate intervention with a defibrillator can reverse the situation.
Hamlin suffered a tackle during Monday Night Football with the Buffalo Bills in January and was admitted to the hospital for more than a week.