USC star freshman Bronny James, the oldest son of Lakers star LeBron James, has been cleared to play by medical staff and is officially available to make his college basketball debut Sunday when the Trojans play host to Long Beach State. His delayed debut would come less than five months after going into cardiac arrest during a preseason workout in late July.
James was a full participant in USC's practice on Thursday for the first time this season. James was officially cleared to play before Sunday's games but he will likely face a restriction on.
"All indications are he feels great, and he looks good," USC coach Andy Enfield said Thursday.
In August, doctors determined a congenital heart defect was the cause of the cardiac episode. James didn't play in the overseas trip to Greece and Croatia when the Trojans played in a three-game summer tour and this weekend would be the first time he appeared in an organized basketball game since the McDonald's All-American game this past spring.
The Trojans started the season ranked inside the AP Top 25 poll, but early losses to UC Irvine, Oklahoma and Gonzaga dropped them out of the rankings. USC sits at 5-3 heading into the weekend and getting James back in the lineup could provide a major spark as Pac-12 conference play approaches at the end of the month.
How to watch USC vs. Long Beach State live
Date: Sunday, Dec. 10 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: Galen Center -- Los Angeles
TV: Pac-12 Network | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
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USC vs. Long Beach State pick, prediction
James returning to the court this weekend is a massive win for USC and college basketball as a whole. After suffering that major health scare in July, there was serious cast doubt on when or if he would return to the court. James is a very good basketball player that should help the Trojans get back on track because he is a perfect role player that can complement Boogie Ellis and Isaiah Collier in the backcourt. His high basketball IQ and his willingness to be unselfish will make a major impact no matter how many minutes he plays this weekend or going forward. His return should provide the perfect storm in building momentum ahead of a showdown with Auburn next weekend. Prediction: USC -14
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