It’s no secret that Bronny James has been one of the most heavily analyzed basketball prospects since his father emerged from the high school ranks as a fledgling superstar. The eldest son of LeBron James has begun to carve out a name for himself during his own time in the youth ranks of the sport, which has put him on the map as an intriguing recruit for a possible stint in college basketball beginning in 2023.
Bronny just put together the latest evidence of his basketball potential with a dazzling performance in the McDonalds All-American game on Tuesday evening. After putting on a show in Monday’s dunk contest, the high school senior displayed the shooting, playmaking and defense against some of the other top recruits in the country that showed he’s ready to compete at the next level.
However, the question still remains: where will he play next?
Since LeBron James made crystal clear in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he hopes to play with both Bronny and his second-eldest son Bryce in the NBA, scouts and fans alike have remained fixated on Bronny’s next move. Though the 18-year-old could opt to go straight from high school to the NBA G-League, Overtime Elite, an overseas league or any other professional option for the 2023–24 season, both of his parents have made clear that he’s leaning toward playing college basketball next.
“Bronny wants to have a college career,” Savannah James told Sports Illustrated last summer of her eldest son. “I think it would be really cool for him to start with collegiate basketball, just to start his legacy there.”
LeBron agreed, saying that he believes his son “wants to go the college route.”
“I think Bronny can go to any college he wants to,” the Lakers star told Bill Oram of The Oregonian in January. “All I have to do is pick up the phone. If Bronny says he wants to go there, he’s good enough.”
The idea that James wanted to pursue a collegiate career was given additional credence when Luca Evans of the Los Angeles Times reported in January that the Sierra Canyon star would choose between Ohio State, USC and Oregon and that a decision could come as soon as late February or early March after the high school season came to an end. Bronny confirmed that all three schools were among the options in the days after the report emerged, but maintained that his recruitment was still open.
In part because of a stellar senior season at Sierra Canyon, James’s stock continued to rise, which included being upgraded to a five-star recruit by On3 in early March. Though he remains a four-star in rankings from ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports, Bronny began to garner further attention nationwide, when he was projected as a top-10 pick in ESPN’s early 2024 NBA mock draft—the first year that he would be eligible.
Though the attention swirling around him has continued to increase, Bronny has yet to make a decision on what’s next for him in basketball. His high school career officially came to an end on March 7 when his Sierra Canyon team lost in the playoffs, but still, no official decision came out about his commitment in the weeks between his final high school game and his appearance in the McDonalds All-American showcase.
James will be eligible to enter his name in the NBA draft as early as 2024, meaning he’s just over a year away from possibly playing professionally alongside his father. But for now, the highly-touted prospect has made clear that he plans to take his time mulling over his options before announcing the next step of his journey.
One thing’s for certain: when Bronny does reveal his plans for the future, the entire basketball world will be watching.