College Basketball

Bronny James recruitment: Three finalists emerge as LeBron James’ son narrows down college list, per report

Bronny James recruitment Three finalists emerge as LeBron James son

Syndication: USA TODAY

The long and winding recruitment process of Bronny James appears to be slowly working its way to an end. Bronny, the eldest son of Lakers superstar LeBron James and a top-40 prospect in the 2023 class, has apparently narrowed down his list of finalists to Ohio State, USC and Oregon, according to the LA Times. The report also states the younger James is expected to make a final decision upon the conclusion of his Sierra Canyon High School senior season. 

James’ recruitment has been the subject of intense interest and speculation in college basketball circles for months, but has remained something of a mystery both publicly and privately. Despite his immense popularity on social media and fame as the son of the biggest star on the NBA’s most popular team, there has been little to no indication as to which school he may be favoring.

Ohio State scored a visit with James last fall shortly after one recruiting website reported Oregon was in position as the frontrunner, while USC entered the mix shortly thereafter to push for his commitment. Should he desire to stay close to home, the Trojans would have an advantage over the field. Both of the other finalists are Nike schools with big resources, though, and each offer something unique. Ohio State, for instance, is LeBron’s favorite school and in the state where he was born. And Oregon is Nike founder Phil Knight’s alma mater, which is relevant because Bronny has already signed an NIL deal with Nike to keep him in the family with his father. 

It has been unclear for a long time just how good a prospect Bronny is because of how difficult it is is to separate his father’s greatness from the expectations of his son while not doing any projecting. But at 6-foot-4, he has risen up to No. 34 overall in the 2023 prospect rankings at 247Sports, powered by his selfless play, high IQ, improved shot and a stellar 2022 summer and equally impressive high school season. 

His development over the last few months has made him an attractive target for teams as he zeroed in on college as his next option, and his growth as a player and prospect has thrust him into the mix as a possible 2024 draft candidate. 

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