BRONNY JAMES, SON OF LEBRON, IN STABLE CONDITION AFTER CARDIAC ARREST AT USC BASKETBALL PRACTICE
Bronny James, the oldest son of NBA superstar LeBron James, was hospitalized in stable condition on Tuesday, a day after going into cardiac arrest while participating in a practice at the University of Southern California, a family spokesman said.
The spokesman said medical staff treated the 18-year-old James on site at USC’s Galen Center after he went into cardiac arrest on Monday morning. He was transported to a hospital, where he was in stable condition Tuesday after leaving the intensive care unit.
“We ask for respect and privacy for the James family and we will update media when there is more information,” the spokesman said. “LeBron and Savannah wish to publicly send their deepest thanks and appreciation to the USC medical and athletic staff for their incredible work and dedication to the safety of their athletes.”
USC spokesman Jeremy Pepper declined a request from The Associated Press for comment or additional details, citing student privacy concerns. The AP also left a message seeking comment from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
A representative for USC outside the Galen Center on Tuesday said the school would not have a briefing or issue a statement about James’ health scare.
Bronny James announced in May that he would play college basketball for the Trojans, whose campus is less than two miles from the downtown arena of his father’s Los Angeles Lakers. USC’s basketball team is holding offseason practices in preparation for a two-week European tour next month.
His father is the leading scorer in NBA history and a four-time champion, but Bronny James is an elite talent in his own right, establishing himself as one of the nation’s top point guard recruits before he chose the Trojans late in the commitment cycle.
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest during an NFL game last season, tweeted his support: “Prayers to Bronny & The James Family as well (prayer emoji) here for you guys just like you have been for me my entire process.”
Sports figures across the world also sent messages of support. Jayson Tatum, Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell were among many NBA stars tweeting prayers for James, while former Lakers forward Metta Sandiford-Artest wrote: “Prayers for Bronny. What a great kid. Come back stronger young fella. Get better and feel better.”
Bronny James was stricken just over a year after USC freshman 7-footer Vincent Iwuchukwu collapsed during a practice. Iwuchukwu not only survived but returned to play for the Trojans in the second half of the season.
With his family fame and huge social media following, Bronny James has the top name, image and likeness valuation in sports at $6.3 million, On3.com estimates.
LeBron James has spoken frequently about his desire to play a season in the NBA with Bronny, the first of his three children with his wife, Savannah. The elder James recently confirmed he will play his 21st NBA season in the fall with the Lakers, his home since 2018.
Bronny’s decision to stay close to home was a coup for USC, which is expected to have one of college basketball’s most compelling teams next season after making its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance last March.
Bronny, whose name is LeBron James Jr., was one of the top college prospects in the country last season as a star two-way guard at Sierra Canyon School in suburban Chatsworth. His younger brother, 16-year-old Bryce, played at Sierra Canyon last season before transferring to Campbell Hall School in Studio City for the upcoming high school season.
Iwuchukwu, one of the nation’s top college basketball prospects a year ago, went into cardiac arrest on July 1, 2022, with athletic trainers using an automated external defibrillator to revive him. Iwuchukwu had a battery-powered pulse generator known as an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implanted in his chest, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Iwuchukwu made his Trojans debut Jan. 12 and eventually appeared in 14 games, including five starts. He will return this season to USC, which is expected to have a powerhouse team.
JAYLEN BROWN, CELTICS AGREE TO 5-YEAR SUPERMAX DEAL WORTH UP TO $304 MILLION, BIGGEST IN NBA HISTORY
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics have answered their most pressing question of the offseason. Jaylen Brown will be part of the franchise for the foreseeable future.
The Celtics’ wing has agreed to terms on a five-year supermax contract extension that will pay him up to $304 million, his agent said Tuesday.
It’s the richest contract in NBA history, surpassing the $264 million deal signed by Nuggets center Nikola Jokic last summer.
The deal was first reported by ESPN and confirmed to The Associated Press by Brown’s agent, Jason Glushon.
It keeps Brown with the team that drafted him third overall in 2016 and watched him develop into a two-time All-Star.
He averaged career highs of 26.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season. But those numbers went down in the playoffs, when the Celtics lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. In Game 7, Brown had 19 points on 8-of-23 shooting, making just one of nine 3-point attempts.
Still, the totality of his time in Boston has made him a key piece of the franchise’s current core that management wasn’t willing to risk seeing depart when his current four-year deal expiries after next season.
By virtue of making the All-NBA second team — Brown’s first such honor in his career — he was eligible for the supermax extension.
From the moment this past season ended, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens has been adamant that he wanted to see Brown sign a long-term deal.
“He’s a big part of us. We believe in him and I’m thankful for him,” Stevens said last month. “I’m really thankful that when those guys have success they come back to work. And when they get beat, they own it and they come back to work. And so I know that’s what they’re about. And that’s hard to find.”
Those sentiments were echoed by All-Star Jayson Tatum, who has paired with Brown to lead the Celtics’ one-two punch in their runs to the NBA Finals in 2021-22 and the conference finals last season.
Following Boston’s East finals loss in May, Tatum said retaining Brown long-term was “extremely important.”
“He’s one of the best players in this league,” Tatum said. “He plays both ends of the ball and still is relatively young. And he’s accomplished a lot so far in his career. So, I think it’s extremely important.”
Brown’s new pact will likely lead to some financial maneuvering down the road with the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement bringing more limitations on how teams construct their rosters and additional luxury tax penalties.
Tatum is still playing under his rookie extension that kicked in last season and will be eligible for his potential supermax extension next summer.
UCONN FORWARD EL ALFY TO MISS FRESHMAN SEASON WITH A RUPTURED ACHILLES TENDON
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn freshman forward Jana El Alfy will miss the 2023-24 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, the school announced on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-5 forward from Egypt sustained the injury to her left leg Sunday in her country’s final game in the FIBA U19 World Cup in Spain. She led that tournament in scoring, averaging 21.4 points.
El Alfy returned to Connecticut, was evaluated at UConn Health and will have surgery there later this week, the school said.
El Alfy enrolled at UConn in January but did not play last season. She was expected to be a key piece to coach Geno Auriemma’s frontcourt this season.
This is the second straight year that UConn has suffered a season-ending injury before school has begun.
Guard Paige Bueckers, the former national player of the year, and freshman forward Ice Brady missed the 2022-23 season with knee injuries.
Both have since returned to practice and are expected to play for UConn in November.
DEWANNA BONNER, TIFFANY HAYES SEND SUN PAST WINGS
DeWanna Bonner and Tiffany Hayes combined for 60 points as the Connecticut Sun scrapped past the Dallas Wings 88-83 on Tuesday in Arlington, Texas.
Bonner shot 9 of 20 from the field and went 11 of 11 from the free-throw line en route to 32 points, her second-highest total of the season. Hayes poured in a season-high 28 points on 8-of-15 field-goal shooting and 10-of-10 success at the foul line.
The pair combined for five of Connecticut’s seven 3-pointers, including back-to-back treys late in the fourth quarter that put the Sun ahead for good.
No other player scored more than nine points for Connecticut (18-6), which shot 29 of 66 (43.9 percent) from the field and 23 of 26 (88.5 percent) from the free-throw line.
Teaira McCowan and Satou Sabally each posted a double-double and Arike Ogunbowale recorded another 20-point game as Dallas (13-10) saw its winning streak end at five game. The franchise last won six straight games in 2015 during its final season as the Tulsa Shock.
McCowan logged 21 points and 15 rebounds, while Sabally racked up 16 points and 13 boards to complement Ogunbowale’s 25-point effort. Ogunbowale has logged exactly 25 points in three consecutive games.
The Wings, who entered Tuesday shooting 81.4 percent on foul shots, made just 14 of 20 (70 percent) from the free-throw line, including 3 of 8 in the fourth quarter.
Hayes rattled home a 3-pointer with 3:07 left that put the Sun ahead 79-76, and Bonner followed a Dallas miss with her own triple for a six-point cushion with 1:56 to play.
Ogunbowale canned a contested trey that whittled Connecticut’s lead to 86-83 with 24.2 seconds left, but Bonner tacked on two free throws to secure the Sun’s third straight win.
Connecticut led 38-26 after Bonner’s layup with 5:54 remaining in the second quarter but didn’t make another field goal until Natisha Hiedeman’s basket at the 7:38 mark of the third quarter.
McCowan’s putback basket gave the Wings their first lead since 2-0 as Dallas closed the half on a 16-2 run to enter the break ahead 42-40.
During the Sun’s eight-minute field-goal drought, the Wings engineered a 23-4 run and surged ahead 49-42 on McCowan’s layup with 7:57 left in the third period.
Dallas led by as many as nine in the quarter, but Hayes churned out seven points in the final three minutes to leave Connecticut trailing 64-63 entering the fourth.
ACES KEEP ROLLING, GET PAST SKY
Kelsey Plum had 27 points while A’ja Wilson scored 24 and Chelsea Gray added 22 as the visiting Las Vegas Aces beat the Chicago Sky 107-95 on Tuesday night to earn their sixth straight win.
Jackie Young scored 15 points and Kiah Stokes pulled down 17 rebounds for the WNBA-leading Aces (22-2), who shot 38 of 76 from the field, but fell short of the outright league record of six consecutive victories by at least 15 points.
All-Star Kahleah Copper scored 22 of her career-high 37 points in the first half and Courtney Williams added 11 points and 11 assists for Chicago (9-14), which hung around thanks to 10-for-17 3-point shooting in the first half.
Copper went 12 of 18 from the field and 9 of 11 from the free-throw line for the Sky, who made just three threes in the second half to suffer their fifth loss in six games.
Plum and Gray combined to score 17 of the Aces’ 24 points in the third quarter, when Las Vegas extended a seven-point halftime lead to 10 by the end of the period. The Sky scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to get within six, but never threatened the rest of the way. Young’s four-point play with 5:17 remaining gave Las Vegas a 95-81 lead.
Copper scored 15 points in the first quarter and Wilson had 13. Chicago led 24-22 with just under two minutes left in the frame, but four free throws from Plum and a Wilson basket headlined an 8-0 run that put the Aces ahead, 30-24.
Las Vegas scored 11 of the first 15 in the second quarter and led 41-30. Chicago, though, used an 11-3 run to get within three with 4:32 left until intermission.
Injured Las Vegas star and Chicago native Candace Parker missed a sixth straight game. Parker underwent successful foot surgery this week and is out indefinitely.
Meanwhile, Aces reserve Alysha Clark, who had eight points on Tuesday, exited late in the third quarter after being hit in the face.
DREAM USE BALANCED ATTACK TO STUMP MERCURY
Allisha Gray and Asia (AD) Durr each scored 12 points as the Atlanta Dream used a balanced scoring effort to capture a 78-65 victory over the visiting Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday night.
Aari McDonald posted 11 points in a reserve role and Rhyne Howard added 10 points as the Dream (13-10) won for the eighth time in their last 10 games.
Howard drained two 3-pointers and now has 151 in her career. She reached that mark in 57 games, becoming the fastest player in WNBA history to sink 150 threes.
Megan Gustafson scored 19 points off the bench and Brittney Griner had all 16 of her points in the first half as the Mercury (6-17) lost their second straight game. Sophie Cunningham had 11 points for Phoenix, which dropped to 1-11 in road games and couldn’t overcome 5-for-24 shooting on 3-pointers.
The Dream won despite recording 17 turnovers in the first meeting of the season between the teams.
Atlanta opened the second half on a 13-3 spurt to create a 58-36 lead. Howard had five straight points during that stretch, while the Mercury went more than six minutes without scoring.
Phoenix went almost 2 1/2 minutes without a field goal to begin the fourth quarter, pretty much negating any chance of a comeback. The Mercury ended up shooting 35.8 percent from the field for the game.
For the Dream, McDonald and Durr both shot 5-for-7 from the field.
Ten Atlanta players scored in the first half as the Dream carried a 45-33 lead into halftime. A 10-2 run in the second quarter helped stretch the margin, while a 19-7 advantage in bench scoring before the break also made a difference.
Griner took nearly half of her team’s 33 field-goal attempts in the first half. The Mercury were hurt by 1-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc, while Atlanta was 5-for-11 from deep in the opening half.
The Dream evened their record at home to 6-6.
LIBERTY RALLY TO AVOID UPSET, HAND STORM 10TH STRAIGHT LOSS
Breanna Stewart scored a team-high 22 points as the New York Liberty rallied from an 18-point deficit, sending the visiting Seattle Storm to their 10th consecutive loss with an 86-82 win on Tuesday night.
Liberty All-Star Sabrina Ionescu was held to 2-for-14 shooting, but she produced a triple-double with 12 points, a game-high 12 assists and 12 rebounds.
Stewart, who helped Seattle win two WNBA titles before leaving for her home state of New York in February, added seven rebounds and three blocks.
Storm guard Jewell Loyd scored a game-high 32 points, but she had just 10 second-half points and couldn’t do enough for Seattle (4-19) to earn what would’ve been its first win since June 24. The skid is the longest in Storm history and the longest active skid in the WNBA.
Ezi Magbegor added 22 points and a team-high 12 rebounds for Seattle.
New York (17-5), which completed a 4-0 sweep of its season series with Seattle, also got 19 points from Betnijah Laney.
New York center Jonquel Jones had a double-double of 13 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.
The Storm led after each of the first three quarters and entered the fourth leading 60-54. But the Liberty finally caught the Storm, 70-70, on Marines Johannes’ bucket with 4:36 left.
The teams traded leads a few times before Jones banked in a 3-pointer with 1:16 left to make it 79-77 New York. The Liberty iced it from the foul line from there, finishing the game 12-of-14 on free throws.
Loyd was on fire early on Tuesday. She scored 15 points in the first quarter as Seattle grabbed a 26-21 lead. She made 6 of 9 shots, including 3 of 5 on 3-pointers.
Seattle stretched its lead to 45-35 at halftime, with Loyd up to 22 points and 5-of-8 3-point shooting.
Stewart led New York with 10 first-half points, but she scored only two in the second quarter. Ionescu went scoreless in the second quarter, missing all five of her shots.
It was a shockingly poor first half for the Liberty, who on Sunday set a league record with a 44-point first quarter.
New York, though, roared back by closing the third quarter on a 13-3 run. Loyd scored just two points in the third.
ACES F CANDACE PARKER (FOOT SURGERY) OUT INDEFINITELY
Las Vegas Aces forward Candace Parker is sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a fracture in her left foot.
The Aces said Parker underwent the surgery on Monday and has been dealing with the fracture all season.
The two-time MVP said on social media Monday night that the surgery was necessary.
“I’ve been playing on a fracture all season, tolerating the pain, but after consulting with doctors, the only option for me to be healthy again and avoid further injury was to elect for surgery,” Parker said on Instagram. “I’ll rehab and work my way towards being healthy as soon as possible.”
Parker missed her sixth straight game when the Aces played the Chicago Sky — one of her former teams — on Tuesday night.
Parker joined the Aces as a free agent in the offseason, giving the team a powerful starting five of A’ja Wilson, Jackie Young, Kelsey Plum, Chelsea Gray and Parker. Las Vegas was tied for the best 23-game record (21-2) with the 1998 Houston Comets entering Tuesday’s contest.
The 37-year-old Parker is in her 16th WNBA season and has career averages of 16.0 points and 8.5 rebounds. She is averaging 9.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 18 games this season.
Parker is a seven-time All-Star who ranks ninth on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list with 6,574 points and third in rebounds with 3,467.
Parker played her first 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks before playing two seasons in her hometown of Chicago. The Sky won the 2021 title with Parker as one of the key contributors. Parker also was part of the Sparks’ title-winning squad in 2016.