LeBron James’ 14-year-old son, LeBron “Bronny” James Jr., played in the Nike EYBL Indianapolis’ most anticipated 15U matchup over the weekend when his Strive For Greatness club took on top freshman Emoni Bates’ Bates Fundamentals.
The game, which was played in front of a standing-room only crowd (and LeBron Sr.), brought in recruiting experts and scouts from across the country. Bates wowed with 43 points while Bronny scored 11 points in SFG’s win. It was the first time that Bronny, who first received scholarship offers from Duke and Kentucky in elementary school, had been evaluated at a higher level.
Typically, recruiting experts refrain from offering critiques for middle schoolers. So, with Bronny both playing up a year and heading into his freshman year of high school, we’re finally getting a glimpse at where Bronny projects as a prospect in this early stage.
This was what recruiting experts had to say about the young Bronny — most projecting Bronny as a high-major talent at minimum.
James showed impressive feel for the game and incredible poise for his age. He was unphased by the circus like environment around him. James has a smooth shooting stroke from three, competed on both ends and played with energy. He finished with 11 points and his team left with a double digit victory.
The idea of projecting a rising freshman is difficult, and ultimately James’ continued skill development and physical growth will determine where he ends up, but at this stage the 2023 guard is tracking as a future high major prospect.
The son of one of the greatest players of all time, Bronny James is already used to playing in front of huge crowds and performing in a virtual fishbowl. His dad is an active and vocal supporter and there’s no question that Bronny is developing into a potentially high-level player in his own right.
I first saw him last summer and was struck by his poise and ability to navigate all the craziness around him. That poise is still there and Bronny has now grown to 6-foot-2, has a great frame, is a budding athlete and has the game to play at the point or shooting guard position.
He’s similar to his dad with his apparent calmness in overwhelming moments and in his ability to facilitate, but he’s totally different physically. Where LeBron is a bruising point forward who can realistically play five positions, Bronny is a slighter 6-foot-2 guard who keeps his game mostly resigned to the perimeter. There’s a smoothness to Bronny’s game that suggests he could be an alpha if you need him to be, but that’s not what’s needed today.
While Bronny was by no means the best player on the floor — that was Bates, who hung a jaw-dropping 43 points on the board — he showed a high level of skill for a 14-year-old. The 6-foot-2 guard doesn’t have his father’s imposing size or overpowering athleticism, but he does possess a smooth shooting stroke and handle. Bronny scored 11 points while forcing nothing.
Of course, it’s important to remember that Bronny is just 14 years old, so physical development will play a huge role in how schools and experts evaluate him. But he’s certainly in position to be a high-level player, though.