Bronny James is staying in Los Angeles for college, joining USC’s crowded backyard

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James’ oldest son, Bronny, has said he’ll be playing basketball at the University of Southern California in the fall.

Bronny James abruptly announced his much-anticipated decision on social media on Saturday, about two hours before his father’s Los Angeles Lakers host the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.

James, 18, was a McDonald’s All-American, just like his father, but he was one of the few uncommitted elite basketball prospects heading into the summer. The namesake son of the NBA’s all-time leading scorer played at Sierra Canyon School, known for training descendants of the sports and entertainment industries in Chatsworth, a neighborhood in suburban Los Angeles.

James announced his decision by writing the Trojans school slogan, “Fight On”, under a photo of himself wearing his high school uniform in the Trojans locker room at the Galen Center.

James and his Sierra Canyon team played in the arena last January, beating a team from Wheeler High School in Georgia led by elite rookie Isaiah Collier – who is now James’ teammate at USC.

After opting to stay close to home for college, the 6-foot-3 guard will join an already loaded roster of Trojans following the school’s third straight NCAA Tournament appearance under coach Andy. Enfield.

Several key contributors to the team from last season return, headlined by star goaltender Boogie Ellis. USC will also have guard Collier, one of the top recruits in the current high school class.

Many recruiting watchers have wondered if USC’s strong roster for custody will deter Bronny James from staying in Los Angeles for college, perhaps guiding him to Oregon or an alternative college. Instead, the son of the four-time NBA champion and league MVP hasn’t shied away from the challenge of contributing to USC’s current rise to national prominence.

Young James’ full name is LeBron James Jr., but he is much better known by his surname. His younger brother, Bryce, 15, is also an elite college prospect at Sierra Canyon.

LeBron James has been an active and supportive parent for his sons’ basketball dreams. He has also frequently spoken of his desire to play in the NBA alongside Bronny, although the logistics of such a dream would be daunting.

Last month, James spent the Saturday between the Lakers’ 81st and 82nd regular season games going back and forth in Portland. James made the day trip with his mom, wife and kids Bryce and Zhuri to watch Bronny perform at the Nike Hoop Summit for Team USA.

The final game of Bronny’s high school career was important enough to carry James through the weariness of an NBA season and onto a plane for the long drive there and back.

“I wasn’t going to miss that,” James said. “I understand how important fatherhood is, having just come from a fatherless household. … We always try to support each other in all of our endeavors. I’m only as good as my family.

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