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Bronny James says he's 'grateful' to have NBA dream in reach after health scare last summer

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Bronny James says he's 'grateful' to have NBA dream in reach after health scare last summer
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Bronny James says he's 'grateful' to have NBA dream in reach after health scare last summer

2024-05-15 08:08 Last Updated At:08:10

CHICAGO (AP) — Bronny James still has some lingering fears. He also has big dreams.

Nearly a year after going into cardiac arrest during a workout, he is close to achieving his goal of playing in the NBA just like his famous father.

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Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO (AP) — Bronny James still has some lingering fears. He also has big dreams.

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Baylor Scheierman, left, and Bronny James warm up during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Baylor Scheierman, left, and Bronny James warm up during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James (50) shoots as Ulrich Chomche (62) guards during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James (50) shoots as Ulrich Chomche (62) guards during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James shoots a free throw during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James shoots a free throw during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James smiles as he participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James smiles as he participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James (50), second from left, drives to the basket past Cam Spencer, left, during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James (50), second from left, drives to the basket past Cam Spencer, left, during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

“It's just a great thing to happen to me, in terms of just being grateful for everything,” James said at the NBA draft combine. “I put in the work and stuff like that to get back, so I feel like I've earned the opportunity. I'm extremely grateful for everything that's been given to me.”

James played in a scrimmage on Tuesday after participating in drills the previous day, when he had his vertical leap measured at 40 1/2 inches and his height — without shoes — at 6-foot-1 1/2 despite being listed by Southern California as 6-4. He also answered questions from reporters, something he didn't do last season.

The son of NBA career scoring leader LeBron James, Bronny James was one of the nation's top prospects when he decided to stay near home and committed to USC last May out of Sierra Canyon School in nearby Chatsworth. But things took an unexpected turn last summer.

James went into cardiac arrestbecause of a congenital heart defect during a basketball workout at USC in late July and needed surgery. He was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and later seen by doctors at the Mayo Clinic and Atlantic Health-Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey.

“It was a tough time, for sure,” he said. “All this work that I put in, it just really built me into someone that would never give up. It paid off because I put in the work after that situation, and I'm back to where I want to be.”

James said the possibility that he wouldn't be able to play again was discussed. Even now, the fear from the cardiac arrest “is still lingering.”

“I feel like my parents were a big factor believing in me and giving me the love and affection that I needed at that time,” he said. “I still think about everything that could happen. I just love the game so much that it overpowers it.”

James missed the first month of the season. He averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 25 games for the Trojans.

“That would set anybody back, what he went through,” said Isaiah Collier, a projected first-round pick after starring as a freshman at USC. “Y'all gonna see what he's really capable of real soon. I feel like Bronny's a great player. He definitely deserves to be here. He's gonna be fine.”

USC went 15-18 overall and 8-12 in the Pac-12 during a season marked by injuries to several players. The Trojans missed the NCAA Tournament after three straight appearances, and coach Andy Enfield left to take the job at SMU.

James declared for the draft and entered the transfer portal on April 5, hours before USC introduced Eric Musselman as its new coach. He has until later this month to decide if he wants to turn pro or play at least another year in college.

The only time James addressed the media last season was following his first game, when he appeared for less than a minute to thank the doctors, athletic trainers and support system that helped him return to play. He did not take questions that day and — despite numerous requests — never granted any interviews. James said he was just following his advisors' advice.

LeBron James, his wife and daughter were frequent spectators at USC games. The elder James has said repeatedly he would like to team with his son. The four-time MVP and four-time NBA champion just completed his 21st season and could become a free agent if he opts out of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. But James also said following a season-ending loss to Denver that he hasn't “given much thought lately” to playing alongside his son.

“The kid has to do what he wants to do — and I don’t want to say kid no more, young man has to decide what he wants to do. I just think the fact that we’re even having the conversation is pretty cool," he said at the time.

Bronny James said his goal is to get to the NBA — not necessarily play on the same team as LeBron.

“My dream has always just been to put my name out, make a name for myself and, of course, get to the NBA,” he said. “I never thought about playing with my dad. But of course, he's brought it up a couple times.”

Bronny James dismissed the idea that a team might draft him as a way to lure his father.

“This is a serious business,” he said. “I don't feel like there would be a thought of ‘I’m just drafting this kid just because I'm gonna get his dad.' I don't think a GM would really allow that. I think I've put in the work and I'll get drafted because of not only the player but the person that I am.”

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Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Baylor Scheierman, left, and Bronny James warm up during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Baylor Scheierman, left, and Bronny James warm up during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James (50) shoots as Ulrich Chomche (62) guards during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James (50) shoots as Ulrich Chomche (62) guards during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James shoots a free throw during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James shoots a free throw during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James smiles as he participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James smiles as he participates in the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James (50), second from left, drives to the basket past Cam Spencer, left, during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James (50), second from left, drives to the basket past Cam Spencer, left, during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s new Labour Party government campaigned on a promise to bring bold change at modest cost. Prime Minister Keir Starmer gets a chance to show how he aims to reconcile those two aims on Wednesday when the government announces its plans for the coming year.

King Charles III arrived at Parliament in a horse-drawn carriage to deliver the King's Speech, written for him by the government. Starmer said the legislation announced in the speech would “take the brakes off Britain” and “create wealth for people up and down the country” by spurring economic growth.

The King’s Speech is the centerpiece of the State Opening of Parliament, an occasion where royal pomp meets hard-nosed politics, as Charles dons a diamond-studded crown, sits on a gilded throne and announces the government’s legislative agenda.

Starmer said the speech would be a “down payment on our plans for the next five years,” which center on getting the U.K.’s stuttering economy growing.

Labour won a landslide election victory on July 4 as voters turned on the Conservatives after years of high inflation, ethics scandals and a revolving door of prime ministers. Starmer has promised to patch up the country’s aging infrastructure and frayed public services, but says he won’t raise personal taxes and insists change must be bound by “unbreakable fiscal rules.”

The government said Wednesday’s speech will include more than 35 bills – the Conservatives’ last speech had just 21 – ranging from housebuilding to nationalizing Britain’s railways and decarbonizing the nation’s power supply with a publicly owned green energy firm.

“It looks like it’s going to be very ambitious and very wide-ranging,” said Jill Rutter, senior research fellow at the Institute for Government think tank.

There will be moves to give more powers to local government, and a law to ensure all government budgets get advance independent scrutiny. Rutter called that the “anti- Liz Truss bill,” referring to the Conservative prime minister whose package of unfunded tax cuts in 2022 rocked the British economy and ended her brief term in office.

Also expected are new measures to strengthen border security, following on from Starmer’s decision to scrap the Conservatives’ plan to send people arriving in the U.K. across the English Channel on a one-way trip to Rwanda. The contentious scheme faced multiple legal challenges and cost the U.K. several hundred million pounds (dollars), without a single flight taking off.

There is also expected to be a law regulating the development of artificial intelligence, a possible break from the previous government’s light-touch approach to governing AI.

The government may also announce significant changes to the U.K.’s political system, including lowering the voting age from 18 to 16, one of Labour’s election promises.

It might even tackle an issue that has foxed previous governments: reforming the House of Lords. The unelected upper chamber of Parliament is packed with almost 800 members – largely lifetime political appointees, with a smattering of judges, bishops and hereditary aristocrats. Starmer has said he would like to remove the hereditary nobles and set a Lords retirement age of 80.

While much of Starmer’s agenda marks a break with the defeated Conservative government of former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Starmer may revive Sunak’s plan to stop future generations from smoking by gradually raising the minimum age for buying tobacco.

Wednesday’s address is the second such speech delivered by Charles since the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September 2022. For all its royal trappings – including lords in ermine-trimmed robes and an official known as Black Rod -- it is the King’s Speech in name only.

“The king has zero agency in this,” Rutter said.

The King's Bodyguard the Yeomen of the Guard take part in a ceremonial search in the House of Lords Chamber, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Henry Nicholls/POOL via AP)

The King's Bodyguard the Yeomen of the Guard take part in a ceremonial search in the House of Lords Chamber, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Henry Nicholls/POOL via AP)

Anti-monarchy Not My King protesters demonstrate as King Charles III and Queen Camilla ride past in their carriage to the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. King Charles III's speech will set out the agenda of the UK's first Labour government for 14 years. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Anti-monarchy Not My King protesters demonstrate as King Charles III and Queen Camilla ride past in their carriage to the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. King Charles III's speech will set out the agenda of the UK's first Labour government for 14 years. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

The Imperial State Crown is seen in a carriage as it is taken to the Parliament, on the day of the State Opening in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Chris J. Ratcliffe/POOL via AP)

The Imperial State Crown is seen in a carriage as it is taken to the Parliament, on the day of the State Opening in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Chris J. Ratcliffe/POOL via AP)

The Imperial State Crown is carried through the Norman Porch ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Justin Tallis/POOL via AP)

The Imperial State Crown is carried through the Norman Porch ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Justin Tallis/POOL via AP)

Anti-monarchy Not My King protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. King Charles III's speech will set out the agenda of the UK's first Labour government for 14 years. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Anti-monarchy Not My King protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. King Charles III's speech will set out the agenda of the UK's first Labour government for 14 years. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Sarah Clarke, the Black Rod, walks through the Royal Gallery on the day of the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Hannah McKay/POOL via AP)

Sarah Clarke, the Black Rod, walks through the Royal Gallery on the day of the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Hannah McKay/POOL via AP)

Members of the House of Lords and guests take their seats in the Lords Chamber, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Henry Nicholls/POOL via AP)

Members of the House of Lords and guests take their seats in the Lords Chamber, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Henry Nicholls/POOL via AP)

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer speaks during an interview at the Senedd as part of a two-day tour of the four nations of the United Kingdom in Cardiff, Wales, Monday, July 8, 2024.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool)

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer speaks during an interview at the Senedd as part of a two-day tour of the four nations of the United Kingdom in Cardiff, Wales, Monday, July 8, 2024.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool)

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