LeBron James sat courtside and cheered for his son alongside family members throughout his play
Basketball legend LeBron James’ son Bronny James said that he was “thankful for everything” as he made his college debut on Sunday, less than five months after collapsing with a cardiac arrest, the BBC reported.
The 19-year-old, who was found to have a congenital heart defect in July, came off the bench in the first half for the University of Southern California in their 84-79 defeat by Long Beach State, after he was cleared to return to the sport in November.
Although Bronny’s team did not manage to win the game, the teenager still managed to make his father proud.
“Proud of you kid,” LeBron James said. “Today you’ve given me more life.”
The four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, showed his son off in an Instagram post.
He wrote: “Can’t even tell y’all how EMOTIONAL today was for me! I’m literally drained and all I can say is @bronny you’re simply INCREDIBLE!! Damn the wins and loses that will occur. You’ve already won the ultimate goal/championship and that’s LIFE!!!”
It was a family affair for the 38-year-old basketball pro who sat courtside for the game alongside his other children, son Bryce Maximus and daughter Zhuri.
The family rose to their feet when Bronny first scored with a second-half three-pointer.
Bronny, who had earlier received a standing ovation from the crowd on entering the game, played for 16 minutes, scoring four points with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.
“I just want to say I’m thankful for everything,” he said afterwards, also thanking the medical staff that treated him, his family, coach Andy Enfield and his team-mates “during this hard time in my life”.
James also received well wishes on social media including a welcome-back message from three-time NBA champion Dwayne Wade, who wrote: “Watching Bronny walk out on that court gave me chills…. Welcome back to the game you love Bronny.”