Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek reacts to Bronny James’ first collegiate game and discusses expectations moving forward for the prized freshman.
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KRYSTEN PEEK: Bronny James made his college debut in front of a sold-out crowd at USC's Galen Center, with his dad, LeBron, sitting courtside. It wasn't the finish USC fans wanted, as Long Beach State upset the Trojans, 84-79 in overtime. Bronny, a 6'2" freshman combo guard entered the game for the first time, with 12:58 left in the first half, to a standing ovation and thunderous applause. And even LeBron had his phone out, recording the moment his son stepped on the court.
Bronny has been away from basketball for four months, after he suffered cardiac arrest late summer and underwent surgery. He was cleared by his doctors on November 30 and returned to the court for full five-on-five contact in practice last week. Bronny's impact was felt immediately on the defensive end. In his first defensive possession on the court, he almost forced a steal, disrupting Long Beach State with his ball pressure on the perimeter. A few minutes later, Bronny had a chase-down block that looked very similar to his dad, with his head at the backboard. He hit his first college bucket, a transition 3-pointer with 13 minutes left to go in the game that brought LeBron to his feet.
Bronny finished with 4 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block in 16 minutes on the court. Bronny's minutes should gradually increase in the next couple of weeks. It's clear from his first game that he has a high IQ, understands USC's system, and will be one of their best defenders. His 3-point shot will come with time. And expect Bronny to be a key player for the Trojans as the season continues.