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LeBron James’son suffers cardiac arrest during basketball practice

LeBron James’ 18-year-old son, LeBron “Bronny” James Jr., had a medical emergency during basketball practice on Monday, July 24.

In a statement to ET, a spokesperson for the James family shared that the rising basketball star — who is set to make his debut with the University of Southern California Trojans basketball team this fall — suffered cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital.

“Yesterday while practicing Bronny James suffered a cardiac arrest,” the statement reads. “Medical staff was able to treat Bronny and take him to the hospital. He is now in stable condition and no longer in ICU. We ask for respect and privacy for the James family and we will update the media when there is more information.”

The statement continues, “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.”

A source also tells ET, “Bronny collapsed during practice. He is now doing well.”

According to TMZ Sports, a 911 call was made around 9:26 a.m. PT from the USC Galen Center in Los Angeles, California, where the Trojans basketball team plays and practices. According to the site, Bronny was unconscious and taken to the hospital via ambulance.

Bronny is a McDonald’s All-American player, who recently committed to playing ball for USC. After his health scare, athletes send him well wishes via social media.

Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin — who went into cardiac arrest on the field earlier this year during an NFL game — took to Twitter on Tuesday to offer his support for Bronny and the rest of the James family.

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

ET spoke to Dr. Evelina Grayver MD, FACC, Director, Women’s Heart Program, Northwell Health, and she noted that while it is “incredibly uncommon” for an 18-year-old to go into cardiac arrest, Bronny does fall into the high-risk category due to several factors.

“Number one, he is of male gender. Number two, he is an African American male, and number three, basketball,” she explains. “So, those three factors increase the risk of actually having a cardiac arrest despite being a very healthy top-shape tough athlete.”

As for what may have caused the scary incident, some potential causes are being significantly dehydrated and having electrolyte instability. Grayver said Bronny must heal before he can play basketball again.

“It is important to heal, truly heal and I’m not talking about like, ‘Ouch, I feel I have a boo-boo and I need to heal,’ I’m talking about getting the appropriate, necessary workup done, right?” she shares. “I’m sure they’re going to do an echocardiogram which is an ultrasound of the heart … What I think would be very important about his appropriate recovery and knowing the appropriate timing of getting back on the court is doing an exercise stress test. A stress test — an exercise stress test — is when we put outpatients on a treadmill and every three minutes, the treadmill gets faster and higher. During that period, we monitor a patient’s electrocardiogram continuously to see whether or not there’s any abnormality during the time of that endurance exercise.”

The James family — including, Lebron, Savannah, Bronny, Bryce, 16, and Zhuri, 8 — were all together at the 2023 ESPY Awards earlier this month to watch the 38-year-old Los Angeles Lakers player, who is affectionately called King James by fans, receive the award for Record-Breaking Performance.

And in 2022, Bronny and Bryce appeared with their father on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, where Bronny opened up about his chosen path to play basketball like his father.

“I feel like the path was already chosen. But my dad is cool enough to let me take whatever path I want if I wanted to not pursue basketball. But I think basketball is going to be my thing, for sure,” he said. “I’ll see what happens. I’m going to be playing basketball. If [I] go down that path, then it is what it is. [If the NBA doesn’t pan out,] I’m cool.”

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