LeBron James’ son Bronny, 18, suffered cardiac arrest due to congenital heart defect, family says

One month after Bronny James, the oldest son of NBA superstar LeBron James, suffered cardiac arrest, his family has answers as to why.

In a statement given to NBC News by the James family spokesperson, the cause for the sudden cardiac arrest was identified as an “anatomically and functionally significant congenital heart defect.”

Bronny James' cardiac arrest due to congenital heart defect, family  spokesperson says - ABC News

“After a comprehensive initial evaluation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center led by Dr. Merije Chukumerije and follow-up evaluations at the Mayo Clinic led by Dr. Michael J. Ackerman and Atlantic Health/Morristown Medical Center led by Dr. Matthew W. Martinez, the probable cause of Mr. James’ sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) has been identified. It is an anatomically and functionally significant Congenital Heart Defect which can and will be treated,” the statement reads.

“We are very confident in Bronny’s full recovery and return to basketball in the very near future. We will continue to provide updates to media and respectfully reiterate the family’s request for privacy.”

James suffered cardiac arrest during a workout for the University of Southern California basketball team on July 24, 2023 and had to be rushed to the hospital, according to a statement from a family spokesperson.

“Yesterday while practicing Bronny James suffered a cardiac arrest,” the spokesperson said in a statement on July 25. “Medical staff was able to treat Bronny and take him to the hospital.

“We ask for respect and privacy for the James family and we will update media when there is more information,” the statement continued. “LeBron and 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.”

Bronny James' cardiac arrest was likely caused by congenital heart defect, family  says

James, 18, is a freshman on the USC basketball team after being one of the nation’s top recruits as a senior for Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles. In March, he played in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game featuring the nation’s top high school players.

The 6-foot-3 guard is part of a heralded freshman class at USC.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who has made an incredible return to the field after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game in January, expressed his support for James one day after the incident occurred.

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

James announced his commitment to the Trojans in May, keeping him in the Los Angeles area, where his father is a star for the Lakers.

Following his son’s announcement, LeBron James told reporters that he believed Bronny was the first person from his family to go to college. The elder James jumped straight to the NBA from high school in Ohio in 2003.

“This is an incredible thing,” James said, according to NBC Sports. “Obviously, his dad didn’t go to school. His mom didn’t go to college. It’s super-cool. … USC is getting a great kid.

“He’s there to play basketball, (but) they’re going to be super surprised at how great a kid he is, even though they’ve been recruiting him for a while,” James said.

Bronny James' cardiac arrest due to congenital heart defect, family says

James, 38, has also expressed his wish to one day play with his son in the NBA. Bronny will be eligible for the NBA Draft following his freshman season.

Bronny is the oldest of James’ three children with his wife, Savannah. The couple’s younger son, Bryce, 16, is also an elite basketball prospect who plays for Sierra Canyon, and they share 8-year-old daughter, Zhuri Nova.

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