CORRECTION Long Beach St USC Basketball

Southern California guard Bronny James, left, passes the ball as his father LeBron James, right, watches during the Trojans’ 84-79 loss to Long Beach State on Sunday in Los Angeles. Mark J. Terrill/Associted Press

LOS ANGELES — Bronny James showed off his defensive skills in his college debut for Southern California nearly five months after he suffered cardiac arrest and expressed gratitude for the doctors and family who supported him.

He had four points, three rebounds and two assists on Sunday, coming off the bench play in front of his superstar father LeBron James.

“I just want to say I’m thankful for everything,” Bronny James said afterward in brief comments to a horde of media. He thanked the Mayo Clinic, where he received treatment, as well as his parents, siblings, Coach Andy Enfield and his teammates “during this hard time in my life.”

He left without taking any questions.

The Trojans lost in overtime to Long Beach State, 84-79. James walked off with his deflated teammates and didn’t greet his father who sat courtside.

James logged 16 minutes, including starting the five-minute extra session, but he wasn’t a factor then before coming out for the last time. He was 1 of 3 shooting, hitting a 3-pointer in the second half.


His biggest impression came on defense. All of James’ rebounds were on the defensive glass and he had two steals.

“I thought Bronny played well,” Enfield said. “He defended at a high level. He guarded the quick ballhandlers on the other team pretty well.”

James was quick to pass to his teammates, even when it appeared he could have taken a shot.

Enfield said James’ minutes would continue to be monitored by USC’s medical staff.

He played six minutes in the first half, when the Trojans led 45-30 at the break. In his second three-minute stint, James made a huge block on Jadon Jones, who was streaking to the basket on a fastbreak, riling up the fans.

James assisted on a dunk by Vincent Iwuchukwu, who also suffered cardiac arrest as a freshman. He returned to play 14 games last season.


“It’s great to see Bronny out there. He’s put a lot of work in the gym,” Iwuchukwu said. “We talked before the game and I told him to go out there and have fun.”

James entered the game for the first time about seven minutes in, with some in the crowd standing and cheering. He missed his first shot, a 3-point attempt. Moments before, he tipped the ball away from a Long Beach State player, but the visitors got it back. The possession ended in a shot-clock violation for the Beach. James also snagged a rebound.

“He makes the right play all the time,” said Boogie Ellis, USC’s top guard. “Everybody wants a guy like that on their team. He defends well at a high level.”

LeBron James arrived seconds before the national anthem, holding hands with 9-year-old daughter, Zhuri, and tapped his son’s rear as he passed the Trojans who were lined up across the court for the anthem.


(1) SOUTH CAROLINA 78, (11) UTAH 69: Kamilla Cardoso scored 17 points and Te-Hina Paopao added 15 to help the Gamecocks (9-0) hold off the Utes (8-2) at the Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase in Uncasville, Connecticut.


Freshmen MiLaysia Fulwiley and Chloe Kitts each added 11 for the Gamecocks, who have beaten four ranked teams this season.

Alissa Pili made 15 of her 23 shots from the floor and finished with 37 points for Utah.

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark shoots past Wisconsin’s Halle Douglass in the first half of the Hawkeyes’ 87-65 win over Wisconsin on Sunday in Madison, Wisconsin. Morry Gash/Associated Press

(4) IOWA 87, WISCONSIN 65: Caitlin Clark scored 28 points, Hannah Stuelke added 21 and the Hawkeyes (10-1) a beat the Badgers (5-4) in Madison, Wisconsin in the Big Ten opener for each team.

Iowa has won seven straight. It gained control with a 12-2 run midway through the third quarter, going in front 57-41 on Kylie Feuerbach’s 3-pointer. The Hawkeyes pushed the lead to 70-51 entering the final period en route to their 28th consecutive victory over Wisconsin.

Clark, the reigning Player of the Year, hit 11 of 19 shots, including 4 of 8 beyond the arc, and had nine rebounds. Sydney Affolter had 12 rebounds for the Hawkeyes.

(17) UCONN 76, (24) NORTH CAROLINA 64: Paige Bueckers scored 26 points to lead the Huskies (6-3) over the Tar Heels (6-3) in the Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The former national player of the year hit 11 of her 14 shots and blocked four on the other end. Aaliyah Edwards added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Huskies.

Maria Gakdeng had 14 points and 13 rebounds for North Carolina., before fouling out late in the game. She was one of five Tar Heels in double figures.

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