Four-star guard Bronny James, the oldest son of Lakers legend LeBron James and the top uncommitted player in the Class of 2023, announced Saturday that he has committed to USC. The No. 26 player in the class, according to 247Sports, James ended his extended recruitment by choosing the Trojans over Ohio State and Oregon.
Saturday's commitment caps what has been a successful month for James, who showed out at the annual Nike Hoop Summit in Portland while participating in his final games as a high school player last month.
Where James would land has long been the subject of intense interest as he's blossomed over the years from a big name with a big pedigree into a legitimate NBA prospect and one of the more tantalizing talents in his classification. James was long expected to be seriously considering a move straight from the preps to the pros in the early stages of his high school career, but in recent months, the college route seemed the more likely choice.
James has been a star at Sierra Canyon in Los Angeles. Coupled with LeBron continuing to star for the Lakers, playing at USC was a logical one for James from a geographic standpoint.
James' finalists were all Nike schools with various ties to both him and his father. Ohio State landed him on a visit and has long been considered his father's favorite collegiate program -- LeBron is from Akron, Ohio -- while Oregon is a major Nike player whose alumni list includes Nike founder Phil Knight, who has already signed James to an NIL deal.
The younger James debuted in 2020 as a top-30 player in his class before sliding all the way to No. 55 in 247Sports' rankings last summer. However, that was the bottom end of the yo-yo for him; he has steadily climbed back up boards after a strong fall and spring. 247Sports ranked him back inside the top-40 by the end of 2022 and now has him sitting 26th nationally as the sixth-best player at his position and seventh-best overall from California.
James' meteoric rise has made possible the potential that he could play together -- either in the same league or on the same team -- in the NBA with his father as soon as 2024. The elder James, who has long publicly stated his desire to play with his son in the NBA before retirement, has a contract with the Lakers that runs through 2024 and has a player option in 2025. Should his son continue on his trajectory and be a one-and-done with USC, it's not out of the realm of possibility the two could fulfill James' dream of playing together.
The addition of James rockets the Trojans' Class of 2023 up to No. 8 nationally and No. 1 in the Pac-12, slightly ahead of the Ducks. Jones gives USC a three-man class headlined by No. 1 overall prospect Isaiah Collier, who had been recruiting Bronny hard publicly after being teamed up together on the Nike Hoop Summit's West team.