Bronny James’ Game-Changing Choice Rattles College Basketball Scene, Potentially Disrupting LeBron James’ Plans

The spotlight always seems to shine on Bronny James — whether the 19-year-old wants it to or not. The eldest son of NBA legend LeBron James, expectation and hype have followed Bronny since junior high school, and his commitment to join the USC Trojans basketball team was highly-publicized. But Bronny’s freshman season did not go according to plan — and his basketball future is up in the air, as a result.

Bronny James is leaving USC after one season with the Trojans.

Bronny suffered a cardiac arrest over the summer that delayed the start of his NCAA career. After posting stats that were below expectation as a freshman — and with his role uncertain following the departure of the Trojans’ head coach — Bronny has made a decision that could cause an earthquake in men’s college basketball.

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According to reports Tuesday night, Bronny James is heading into the transfer portal, as he intends to leave USC and play at another school in 2024/25.

Bronny, a 6’4” guard, averaged 4.8 points on 37 percent shooting in 25 games this season. He played 19 minutes per game as USC limped to a 15-18 season, missing the NCAA Tournament. James slid in mock NBA drafts throughout the year, and LeBron angrily tweeted a defense of his son in February that was blasted in the media.

A logical choice for Bronny would be to transfer to Ohio State, where LeBron has close ties dating to his childhood. The Buckeyes missed the tournament this season and hired a new head coach in Jake Diebler, although it is unknown as to whether Bronny likes the option of moving to Columbus — or when he will make his transfer decision.

Bronny was recruited to USC by Andy Enfield, who has left his post as the Trojans’ head coach to take the same job at Southern Methodist University in Texas. Enfield’s departure was likely the final straw for Bronny as he sorted through his difficult first season of college ball.

Enfield spent 11 seasons at USC and posted a 220-146 record with five NCAA Tournament appearances. He guided the Trojans to the Elite Eight in 2021, but the program did not make it past the tournament’s first weekend in any of its other appearances. The 2023/24 campaign was USC’s first losing season since 2018/19.

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