Last week was the 17-year anniversary of LeBron James, then a high schooler, playing his first nationally televised game on ESPN. Now it’s LeBron “Bronny” James Jr.‘s turn to carry on the family legacy.
On Saturday (December 14) — on an off day between games against the Heat and Hawks — the elder James and his family chartered a flight to Ohio to watch his son Bronny’s team, Sierra Canyon, take on St. Vincent-St.Mary’s in the GermainCars.com Ohio Play-by-Play Classic.
Of course, St. Vincent-St. Mary’s is the four-time NBA MVP’s alma mater and where his legend began.
“Obviously, everybody knows that St. Vincent-St. Mary is when people started to recognize me from a national standpoint,” James told ESPN last week. “And my son is about to play a high school game versus my alma mater in our home state. The only thing that would have been more emotional is if my son was playing St. Vincent-St. Mary at the LeBron James Arena in Akron. That would have been, like — that would have been too much.”
Bron will always maintain love for St. Vincent-St. Mary’s and head coach Dru Joyce. He has famously donated $2 million to the school, renovating the gymnasium that now bears his name and writing a $250,000 check to buy new uniforms for athletes and band members.
But there was no conflicted loyalty on Saturday night. Bron was a proud dad cheering for his son and Sierra Canyon.
In front of 13,000 people at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, Bronny scored 15 points on 7 of 10 shooting, including a steal of an inbound pass and a clutch layup to seal the 59-56 victory for his Trailblazers over his dad’s alma mater.
Bronny was named the game’s MVP.
Bron was seen cheering with the zealotry and exuberance of any other sports dad. He got so excited after Bronny’s go ahead layup that one of the officials had to gently remind him to stay back.
It was an incredible moment for Bronny and his family, and his dad took to Instagram Sunday morning to share his thoughts, in part saying: “Last night was such a surreal feeling for me!”
In another life-coming-full-circle moment, Bron commented on the fact that the same person who put together Saturday’s game also put together a similar game for his St. Vincent-St. Mary’s team 17 years ago, and he also took home some hardware.
LeBron said, “They were talking about how things come full circle. Seeing my son out playing in our home state, versus my alma mater, playing in front of our family and friends — everyone was telling me it was almost like I was back in high school all over again watching my son play. It was one of the greatest moments of my life so far,” Yahoo reports.
Saturday was a wonderful family moment for the #JamesGang and Bronny in particular. It will not be easy growing up in the shadow of his world-famous father. But moments like this one will make it all worth it, and he’ll be able to cherish them forever.