SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Midway through his senior season at Sierra Canyon High School (Chatsworth, California), Bronny James continues to elevate his game. In his most recent outing, the eldest son of LeBron James had one of his most complete games of the season, showing his deep range from behind the arc with three 3-pointers (finishing with 13 points), grabbing five steals and committing only one turnover in 27 minutes. Bronny James looks stronger and more polished as a player in his final high school season as he prepares for the college game.
James' recruitment has been kept under wraps, but there are a few teams emerging as possible landing spots for the 6-foot-2 guard: Ohio State, Oregon, USC and Michigan. James is currently the highest-rated point guard still undecided in the 2023 high school class. He will most likely wait until after his high school season to take more college visits and a late decision is expected.
Possible landing spots for Bronny James
James took an official visit to Ohio State in early September, his only known campus visit. He has never publicly commented on what schools are recruiting him, but considering LeBron James' long-term relationship with Nike and Bronny James signing a lucrative Nike shoe deal for an undisclosed amount in October, his likely college path will be with a Nike program.
Oregon is the Nike school with the headquarters two hours away and founder Phil Knight as the most famous alumnus, providing Nike's latest gear for all student-athletes. Right now, Oregon coach Dana Altman has commitments from four-star wing Mookie Cook (who actually plays LeBron James in an upcoming movie), guard Jackson Shelstad and five-star K.J. Evans.
"[Bronny] told me he likes Oregon, and I want him to visit there," Evans told Yahoo Sports. "Everyone that's coming in is unselfish. We all cut, move and don't hold the ball too long, so it's going to benefit him. Bronny can be more of a playmaker and a shot creator, and I think we would play really well together."
USC, local to where LeBron James plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, already has a commitment from one of the top point guards in the senior class, Isaiah Collier, but could still add Bronny James. Prior to his senior year at Sierra Canyon, James played off the ball a lot as a two guard alongside current UCLA guard Amari Bailey. Collier and Bronny James know each other from playing against one another in Nike's EYBL the past two summers, and the Trojans will be losing guards Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson after this season.
Michigan, a Jordan Brand school under the Nike umbrella, is another possible option. Head coach Juwan Howard has had early success in his four seasons as Michigan's head coach. James could learn from Howard's endless knowledge as a former professional who had a long NBA career. Michigan's offensive system also gives its guards a lot of freedom, and James excels as the primary ball-handler, making the right reads off the pick-and-roll. Howard was also on staff as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat when LeBron James played there from 2010-14.
Programs that are most likely out
Memphis is another team that was high on Bronny James. LeBron James has close ties to head coach Penny Hardaway. The Tigers now have commitments from four-star guards Mikey Williams and Ty-Laur Johnson as well as wings Ashton Hardaway and J.J. Taylor, making it unlikely that James will join the 2023 recruiting class.
The G League Ignite is also an option if James wanted to go the pro route. It's no secret that LeBron James plans on playing a season in the NBA with his son.
“I need to be on the floor with my boy. That would be ideal, for sure, being with him, spending a full year with him in the same uniform, that would be the icing on the cake,” LeBron James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
Players who choose the G League route over college have a year playing with NBA rules and professional spacing unlike collegiate players in their draft class. The Ignite have been successful getting young players drafted with former Ignite players Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga and Dyson Daniels all being taken in the lottery. Prior to the season, the Ignite signed point guard London Johnson to a two-year deal, making it unlikely James would also sign with the Ignite.