USC still preparing for European tour as Bronny James recovers at home after cardiac arrest
LOS ANGELES (AP) — As Bronny James continues to recover after going into cardiac arrest, his Southern California teammates have been at practice to prepare for a 10-day exhibition tour of Greece and Croatia that begins next week.
The tour will run from from Aug. 5-15 and see the Trojans visit Athens and Mykonos, Greece, and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Teams are allowed to go on a foreign tour once every four years under NCAA rules.
James was discharged from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Thursday and is resting at home, according to a statement from the hospital. His father, Lakers superstar LeBron James, also posted on social media that his family is “safe and healthy.”
Bronny James will continue to undergo tests to determine the cause of his cardiac arrest, which occurred Monday morning during a workout at USC’s Galen Center.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart abruptly stops beating, because of a problem with its electrical activity. While uncommon in young people, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading medical cause of death in young athletes. Some studies have estimated one sudden cardiac death in 50,000 to 80,000 young athletes each year.
No information has been made public about what may have caused Bronny James’ cardiac arrest. But one of the most common causes in young athletes is an underlying problem with the heart’s structure, such as a genetic condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that leads to a thickened heart muscle more prone to irregular electrical activity. A more rare cause is commotio cordis, which occurs when someone receives a sharp blow to the chest during a specific part of the heartbeat’s cycle — what happened to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin earlier this year.
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 and appeared in 14 games.
It’s too soon to know how James’ playing career could be affected, especially without a lot of information being made public. Various experts point to James’ quick move out of intensive care and being released three days later as encouraging.
The upcoming trip is important for the Trojans as James recovers. USC had the nation’s fourth-ranked recruiting class, including the top-rated player in guard Isaiah Collier.
James committed to the Trojans in May after the 6-foot-3 18-year-old became one of the nation’s top prospects as a two-way point guard for Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, California.
He is the sixth McDonald’s All-American to come to USC since Andy Enfield became coach in 2013.
With his family fame and huge social media following, Bronny James also has the top name, image and likeness valuation in sports at $6.3 million, as estimated by On3.com. He is the oldest of LeBron and Savannah James’ three children.
AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham and AP Health & Science Writer Lauran Neergard contributed to this report.
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