There might be better players in the 2023 high school class, but none of them will probably generate more buzz than Bronny James. That name, if you don’t follow basketball, probably doesn’t tell you anything. If you’re a casual fan, you might find a clue in that “James” surname. If you’re a hoops-nut, though, you perfectly know who we’re talking about already.
It is what happen when you’re the son of living-legend and perennial GOAT-contender LeBron James, as Bronny happens to be.
Bronny James will close his high school tenure in three years as a senior and part of the 2023 class of prospects. Currently 16 years old (he celebrated his birthday on October 6), James moved his parents to Cali after LeBron signed with the Lakers. and has played basketball at Sierra Canyon for a year after transferring there in May 2019. While there, he shared the floor Dwayne Wade’s son Zaire, although Wade Jr. is only the 210th-best player of the 2021 class compared to Bronny’s no. 30 rank.
Yes, that’s correct: Baby James was ranked no. 24 in the nation by ESPN and he’s gotten close to that spot once more in 247Sport’s rankings checking in at no. 30. This has happened four months after ESPN released its list. Not a lot of things have changed since then and although the two different scouting services might have varying opinions both are truly close in assessing James’ talents at this early point in his career.
As is obvious, James hasn’t committed to any college yet, and if things follow the expected course, it is probable that he could jump straight from prep to pros as his father did all the way back in 2003. That hasn’t prevented the likes of Ohio State (his native state and the college LeBron would have attended), Kentucky, and Duke from offering him a scholarship.
A lead-guard, Bronny is a natural bucket with a really high scoring prowess. In such a stud-filled team as that of Sierra Canyon last season, James’ role was reduced to that of a bench/role player with reduced minutes and short playing time. That is about to change, though.
Given his condition of son-of-a-GOAT, we’re probably getting too high on what we should expect from him going forward, but the truth is that he has everything to become the second coming of his dad—to an extent, obviously, as it’d be crazy to project him as a top-3 all-timer already. Bronny has the size, the genes of a physical marvel, and plays both the point- and shooting-guard positions with gusto, being as good as a facilitator and as a scorer.
In 247Sports Composite rankings, which merge those of multiple recruiting services, Bronny ranks 19th and is the fourth-best combo guard. Not a bad start, indeed, but still miles away from no. 2 overall player Mikey Williams (CG) and the consensus best player from 2023 DaJuan Wagner Jr.
Yes, that is DaJuan Wagner Jr., son of former NBA player—and notable injury-ravaged bust—Dajuan Wagner Sr. I’m going to be 100% honest here: I need Junior to reach the NBA and become a top-tier player while there. Seriously. What Senior couldn’t give us (he played just 103 games as a pro in the league), I hope Junior can.
It’s only a matter of waiting, and so far things are looking as bright for Bronny as they are for the younger of the Wagners. Here’s to hope both put on some heated battles in the Association.