Bronny James, older son of LeBron James, suffers cardiac arrest at USC basketball practice

Bronny James, older son of LeBron James, suffers cardiac arrest at USC basketball practice
Bronny James, older son of LeBron James, suffers cardiac arrest at USC basketball practice

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The spokesman said medical staff treated the 18-year-old James on site at USC’s Galen Center after he went into cardiac arrest on Monday morning. He was transported to a hospital, where he was in stable condition Tuesday after leaving the intensive care unit.

“We ask for respect and privacy for the James family and we will update media when there is more information,” the spokesman said. “LeBron and (his wife) 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.”

USC spokesman Jeremy Pepper declined a request from The Associated Press for comment or additional details, citing student privacy concerns. The AP also left a message seeking comment from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A representative for USC outside the Galen Center on Tuesday said the school would not have a briefing or issue a statement about James’ health scare.

Bronny James, LeBron’s son, suffered cardiac arrest during practice

Bronny James announced in May that he would play college basketball for the Trojans, whose campus is less than two miles from the downtown arena of his father’s Los Angeles Lakers. USC’s basketball team is holding offseason practices in preparation for a two-week European tour next month.

His father is the leading scorer in NBA history and a four-time champion, but Bronny James is an elite talent in his own right, establishing himself as one of the nation’s top point guard recruits before he chose the Trojans late in the commitment cycle.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest during an NFL game last season, tweeted his support: “Prayers to Bronny & The James Family as well (prayer emoji) here for you guys just like you have been for me my entire process.”

Well-wishes poured in on social media. NBA legend Magic Johnson tweeted that he and his wife, Cookie, are praying for a “speedy recovery” for Bronny James. Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered from a cardiac arrest during an NFL game earlier this year, also wished him and his family well. 

“Prayers to Bronny & The James family as well. here for you guys just like you have been for me my entire process,” Hamlin said. 

James was a five-star recruit and considered one of the signature players of USC’s incoming recruiting class. He signed his letter of intent to join the team in May. He is projected to be a potential NBA pick in next year’s NBA draft. 

His collapse marks the second time a USC player suffered cardiac arrest with the program since Vince Iwuchukwu, then a freshman with the team, suffered a cardiac arrest last summer during an informal practice. 

What causes cardiac arrest in young athletes?

Shortly after the news of James’ cardiac arrest, the American Heart Association said it happens when the “heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly.” The organization said to call 911 and “push hard & fast in the center of the chest until help arrives.” 

While cardiac arrest in youth athletes is rare, it does happen. About 60 million kids in the U.S. participate in organized sports, and cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among young athletes.

Dr. Korin Hudson, a MedStar Health emergency physician, told CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell that the best way to be prepared for the potential of cardiac arrest is to have the training and equipment necessary to respond. 

That equipment includes an AED — an automated external defibrillator, which was used to help save Hamlin’s life. Officers in New Jersey helped a teen who suffered cardiac arrest during a basketball game by also using it.

If used within the first minute, chances of survival are close to 90%. The American Heart Association also offers online courses teaching CPR and how to use an AED, Hudson said.

Earlier this year on “CBS Mornings,” CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook and Dr. Deepak Pradhan, a critical care specialist at NYU Langone Health, demonstrated life-saving techniques when a person goes into cardiac arrest. Watch the video below. 

LeBron James’ son collapsed and was rushed to the hospital

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a medical emergency in the 3400 block of South Figueroa Street at 9:26 a.m. Monday and took an adult male to the hospital, a fire spokesperson said.

The Galen Center, the home arena of USC basketball, is at 3400 S. Figueroa St.

The 6-foot-3 Bronny James, a McDonald’s All-American, was one of the nation’s most heralded players coming out of Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles.

National media covered his commitment to USC, and LeBron James, 38, has said he hopes to stay in the NBA long enough to play with his oldest son.

Athletes’ heart health, always a concern in the world of sports, has been the focus of several high-profile incidents recently.

Bronny James, son of LeBron James, in stable condition after suffering cardiac arrest

James’ USC teammate Vincent Iwuchukwu passed out on the practice floor in July 2022. The cardiac arrest kept Iwuchukwu off the basketball floor until January.

Cartier Woods, an 18-year-old high school basketball player from Detroit, died this year after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a game.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during the Bills’ nationally televised game against the Cincinnati Bengals in January.

And perhaps the most famous on-court death happened in Los Angeles, when Loyola Marymount’s Hank Gathers collapsed during a game in 1990.

“When you get a chance send a prayer up for Bronny James,” former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III said in a statement Tuesday. “He collapsed on the basketball court yesterday, went into cardiac arrest and was taken to the ICU. He is now out of the ICU and in stable condition, but his continued recovery and health is what we all pray for.”

Bronny James, older son of LeBron James, suffers cardiac arrest at USC basketball practice

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