LOS ANGELES (AP) —
The top scorer in NBA history posted the message of thanks on social media Thursday. The words were the Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s first public comments since Bronny, his 18-year-old son, was hospitalized Monday morning after a basketball practice with his team at the University of Southern California.
“I want to thank the countless people sending my family love and prayers,” LeBron James wrote. “We feel you and I’m so grateful. Everyone doing great. We have our family together, safe and healthy, and we feel your love. Will have more to say when we’re ready but I wanted to tell everyone how much your support has meant to all of us!”
He concluded his message with the hashtag “JamesGang,” his nickname for the tightknit family unit built around their three children by James and his wife, Savannah.
Bronny James spent only a brief time in intensive care. That’s a positive sign for his long-term recovery after the episode at USC’s Galen Center, where he was swiftly treated by the school’s medical personnel.
He was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was in stable condition Tuesday when the family made its first public statement about the incident. Bronny is expected to undergo extensive testing to investigate the cause of his cardiac arrest, as is typical in this situation.
Bronny James has built a promising basketball career for himself in his father’s considerable shadow. The 6-foot-3 teenager became a top recruit as a two-way point guard for Sierra Canyon School in suburban Chatsworth.
He decided in May to attend USC, which is expected to have one of the most intriguing teams in the nation. The Trojans were holding summer practices in preparation for a 10-day tour in Europe next month.
With his family fame and huge social media following, Bronny James has the top name, image and likeness valuation in sports at $6.3 million, as estimated by On3.com.
Bronny James was the second high-profile USC basketball recruit to go into cardiac arrest in the last year. Vincent Iwuchuwku also was stricken during a workout last July, but the 7-foot-1 center returned to the court six months later, eventually appearing in 14 games for the Trojans as a freshman.
It’s too soon to know how Bronny James’ hoops career could be affected by this health setback. Dr. Sameer Amin, a cardiologist and the chief medical officer at L.A. Care Health Plan, told The Associated Press that the teenager’s move out of intensive care this week was encouraging.
“It’s a really positive sign that they didn’t sustain too much brain damage or any brain damage, or any major heart damage in the setting of their heart stopping,” said Amin, who is not treating Bronny James. “Usually we see that when somebody’s heart gets restarted very quickly after it stops. Also, in young people, you tend to get these bounce-backs a lot faster. It’s a really positive outcome that he’s already out of the ICU.”