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Bronny James Rumors: Latest on Star's Recruitment amid UCLA, Ohio State, Oregon Links

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 15, 2022

Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Bronny James is the most famous high school basketball player in the country in large part because of his father, but there have not been many recruiting updates surrounding LeBron James' son.

In fact, there is not a single listed scholarship offer or crystal ball prediction on his 247Sports page.

Paul Biancardi of ESPN provided a rare update Friday when he reported there was a "strong feeling" James will attend college instead of playing professionally for the G League Ignite or elsewhere before he is eligible for the 2024 NBA draft.

Biancardi also listed UCLA, USC, Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon among the schools that are interested in him, and Jamie Shaw of On3 Sports provided an update on the potential landing spots on Monday.

According to Shaw, Michigan is not actively recruiting James even though head coach Juwan Howard was Miami Heat teammates with LeBron. What's more, UCLA is not actively recruiting him even though it is close to Sierra Canyon, where James plays high school basketball.

That leaves USC as a potential local option, and there is apparently "mutual interest" with the Trojans and Oregon. As for Ohio State, "There has been contact between the parties, and there is talk of a visit that is being scheduled."

There are connections in place between James and all three programs, which Shaw highlighted.

LeBron signed a lifetime deal with Nike, and the company's chairman, Phil Knight, went to school at Oregon. Not only is USC close to his current school, but Bronny's former teammate Kijani Wright plays for the Trojans.

And the James family is from Ohio, with LeBron frequently attending or reacting to Buckeyes football games and even once saying he would have donned the Scarlet and Gray if he did go to college for one season.

Whichever school lands the younger James will be getting more than just a famous son.

He is a 4-star prospect and the No. 43 overall player, No. 7 shooting guard and No. 12 player from California in the 2023 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings. He is no longer overshadowed by former teammates Amari Bailey, Ziaire Williams and Brandon Boston Jr. at Sierra Canyon and has shown notable progress on the floor.

"You can see the improvements he's made to his game from last year to this year," an NBA scout said of James last month, per Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. "He's proving to be more than just a name and impacts the game positively whether that's making the extra pass on offense or dropping down for loose balls in the post on defense."

Another one said, "The most impressive thing about Bronny at this age is his poise on the court and how he consistently makes the right decision. He's a hell of a defender, and you can see he's started to grow into his body a little more."

Bronny's father is one of the best players in NBA history but never made a name for himself at the collegiate level because he went straight to the pros from high school. The younger James could do something his father never did and compete for an NCAA title at Ohio State, USC, Oregon or another school.

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