Bronny James Thanks USC In Declaring For NBA Draft After ‘Up And Down’ Year

Most scouts seem to believe Bronny James isn’t quite ready for the NBA, but there’s no doubt he’s the biggest name entering the 2024 NBA Draft. Bronny James, USC, NBA Draft

James made the decision official in a social media post on Friday. He will maintain his college eligibility and has entered the transfer portal after spending one season at USC.

“I’ve had a year with some ups and downs but all added to growth for me as a man, student and athlete,” James wrote. “I’ve made the decision to enter the NBA Draft while maintaining my college eligibility, and will also be entering the NCAA transfer portal.” 

In other words, James intends to test the NBA Draft waters and receive feedback from scouts and team executives. Odds are, he will return to college for another run.

Where that college is, though, seems to be very much up in the air.

USC just hired Brecksville High product Eric Musselman as coach. Musselman, who had been coaching Arkansas, is the son of former NBA coach and GM Bill Musselman. It’s too early to know if the hire will impact James’ decision.

Again, there have been no indications where James will play as a sophomore, though some suspect it could either be Ohio State or Duquesne, which is coming off a run to the NCAA tournament. 

The Dukes have plenty of connections to James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio, as new coach Dru Joyce III was a teammate of LeBron James at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Joyce’s father was the coach of those St. V-St. M teams for their final two years and remains at the school today.

Also, Joyce is replacing Keith Dambrot, LeBron’s first high school coach. LeBron sent the entire Dukes team a pair of his signature Nikes before they began play in the NCAA tourney, then offered support on social media, as well as praise for Dambrot, who’s retiring.

But that’s nothing more than speculation at this point.

Bronny James had a somewhat rocky start to his college career after going into cardiac arrest during a workout before the season. He finished with averages of 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists, shooting 36.6 percent from the field in 25 games played. 

The Trojans ended up being one of college basketball’s biggest disappointments, entering the year as a Top 25 team — but then finishing 15-18 and failing to qualify for postseason play. Former coach Andy Enfield left USC for SMU.

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