Skip to Content
College Basketball

Bronny James Suffers Cardiac Arrest At Practice, Now Out Of ICU

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 8: Bronny James #6 of Team USA looks on during the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit on April 8, 2023 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon.
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Lebron James Jr. suffered a cardiac event during a practice Monday and was taken to the hospital. Bronny, an 18-year-old freshman at USC, has been released from the ICU, according to a James family statement.

TMZ reports it was “a Code 3—meaning the ambulance lights and sirens.”

Only July 1 of last year, USC’s Vince Iwuchukwu suffered major heart failure at a practice. Iwuchukwu, part of a highly-touted freshman class, spent several days in the ICU. “I felt like in a deep slumber. I felt like in a void. Things in that void I can't really describe, but it was definitely something,” Iwuchukwu later told Rivals about the event. “When I was starting to get back consciousness, I was starting to hear [assistant coach Eric] Mobley’s voice. ... He was saying, ‘Vince, come on. Come back, come back.’ And then I heard, ‘Vince, don't die on me.’” Mobley was among the first to reach Iwuchukwu because he noticed something was wrong; he’d played for Portland in the 1990 game in which Loyola Marymount’s Hank Gathers collapsed and died. Iwuchukwu returned to play in January, and averaged 5.4 points in 14 games. He topped out at 26 minutes played, and missed the end of the season due to a back injury.

Studies have shown basketball players tend to have increased incidences of heart issues. A decade-long study of NCAA athletes found that sudden cardiac death was much more common for men’s basketball players (1 in 8,978) than other sports (1 in 23,689 for men’s soccer, 1 in 35,951 for football). “The risk among male Division 1 basketball players has been estimated at more than 10 times that in the overall athlete population (1 in 5,200 vs. 1 in 53,703 athletes per year), which is consistent with prior findings in collegiate and high-school athletes,” another paper said.

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter