Life is precious and, sadly, it can take dour circumstances for that realization to come about.
In the wake of a moment that brought that feeling out of many sports fans, Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young sent his heartfelt sentiments to LeBron ‘Bronny’ James Jr., the son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who went into cardiac arrest during practice with his college team.
James Jr. is a freshman at USC and, thanks to his last name, has been touted as a top prospect even before he made it to high school. He’s even been projected to land with the Hawks when he’s finally eligible for the NBA in 2024 but that all pales in comparison to his standing as a son, brother, friend, and teammate.
“[Prayers] for Bronny,” Young tweeted on July 25, joining NBA stars ranging from Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics to Hall of Famer Magic Johnson to the Miami Heat’s social media team.
It also notably included Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin.
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during a game last season, collapsing on the field during a game before he was taken to the hospital while the game was suspended. According to Hamlin, he “died on national TV in front of the whole world”.
The bright side is that Hamlin – whose condition was attributed “commotio cordis”, e.g. it was caused by a sudden impact to the chest – has made a full recovery and took the field for the start of training camp. The reality of the situation is that is the furthest thing from anyone’s mind while in the moment, and the James family has asked for privacy as they figure things out.
Young, who became a father last year and is expecting his second child with his wife Shelby Miller, and who has a tight bond with his own father, can probably relate, just as any parent can.
A scary situation for a projected Atlanta Hawks prospect
The 6-foot-2 James Jr. was the No. 20 overall prospect in his class, per ESPN’s Top 100 list. He was also projected by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo to go No. 17 overall to the Hawks in the 2024 NBA Draft.
The projections even drew a response from the elder James.
That is notable because James has a $51-plus million player option for the 2024-25 season meaning he can opt out after this coming season and become an unrestricted free agent. He has also previously said that he wants to play alongside his son but has since backed off those claims, noting the feeling may or may not be mutual when the time comes.
Again, though, all of that is secondary to his making a full and speedy recovery for a young man who is one of the more recognizable figures in sports already.