PORTLAND, Ore. —
Bronny James, one of the top high-school basketball players in the country and the oldest son of NBA superstar LeBron James, is in Portland for Saturday's Nike Hoop Summit, a prestigious international basketball game that brings elite amateur men's and women's basketball players from across the world to the Rose City.
Nike Hoop Summit
Saturday, at Moda Center, Portland
- Women's game: 4 p.m.
- Men's game: 7 p.m.
James, a 6-foot-3 guard, hasn't made a college decision yet but the four-star recruit has been linked to the University of Oregon, among other schools. He has offers from Oregon, USC, Ohio State and Memphis, according to recruiting site 247 Sports.
This is the second time James has come to Oregon for basketball in the past few months. In December, he was in town with his high school team for the Les Schwab Invitational, where James and Sierra Canyon lost to West Linn and Oregon commit Jackson Shelstad.
During an interview Wednesday, James answered questions about Shelstad and other players at the summit trying to recruit him to their college of choice, his impressions of Portland and Oregon, and what he thinks of Shelstad. He also answered a question about the "Bronny James cheering section," which he said will be out in full force at the summit. James said "the whole family" will be here, so fans may even get a glimpse at LeBron in the stands, cheering for his son.
Here's a transcript of the full interview with James:
Reporter: Did it feel interesting putting that USA on your chest?
James: Interesting might be the wrong word. I mean, I was a little bit excited, happy. It’s a great time to put on the jersey.
Reporter: Bronny, when you started your high school career, did you envision yourself being a McDonald's All-American, getting an invite to the Nike Hoop Summit?
James: You know, I always believe in myself. I try to do that. I keep a healthy mindset myself. But you know, I have goals and I know other people have goals, so whatever the decision is, it is what it is. But you know, I'm happy with the outcome of it.
Reporter: Bronny, Jackson [Shelstad] told us he's been trying to recruit you while he's here. What's that like, just to be able to have all these guys asking what's going on next year?
James: You know, it's fun times, good to joke with them, you know? Talking to them, talking to the coaches, it's good to know that they want me there with them. But at the end of the day, it's my decision and I need to make the right one for me.
Reporter: Do you know when you're going to make that decision?
PR PERSON: I think we can move on to questions about USA Basketball and the Hoop summit.
Reporter: Bronny, your evolution as a player, to get this invite and become a guy that's a McDonald's All-American and Nike Hoop Summit invite, what has been the key for your transformation? It really it feels like you've made a jump here the last year, in particular with your game.
James: It's always been consistency. I feel like I've grown at a nice pace throughout my four years in my high-school career. So I feel like it was me being consistent at what I'm doing in my workouts and recovery and getting that right mindset, you know, has been a great part of me being successful.
Reporter: Bronny, what do you like about playing here in Oregon? Being back here in Oregon — you got a chance to play at the Les Schwab tournament earlier this year against some of these dudes — what's your experience been like here in Portland and Oregon in general?
James: It's always nice to be here. It's a nice city. I like the weather out here. Well, gloomy-type rain weather, you know, but it's nice to be here with all the guys and experience this.
Reporter: For us locals, Jackson Shelstad being from here and stuff like that, what can you say about him? What do you like about his game, his personality?
James: Yeah, me and Jackson are still trying to meet each other, but he's a cool dude. I like talking to him and stuff. We're talking about Oregon and stuff, but I like his game a lot. He can shoot the ball well, he’s a fast point guard, makes smart decisions. Everyone likes to play with a good point guard that can make good decisions.
Reporter: This game has four players whose dads played in the NBA. I don't think that's ever happened. How cool is that and are there any kind of stories you've exchanged?
James: Not any stories, but you know it's always a good opportunity and experience to be part of the four, you know what I'm saying? It’s a great experience to be part of.
Reporter: Is there anything your dad said about you being a part of this?
James: I mean, he's just proud, my dad. Gives me good words, gives me good encouragement to just play my game and be myself out here.
Reporter: What does the Bronny James cheering section look like on Saturday?
James: They're definitely gonna be in attendance. You're going to see them and you’re going to hear them, for sure. The whole family is going to be out here, so it's gonna be good to see.
Reporter: You excited for that?
James: Yeah, of course, yeah.
Reporter: What are you trying to improve on, if anything, in these next few days?
James: Just being confident, you know. Being here with all these elite players, I just want to show that I belong and what I could do, so just playing my game and being confident, too, and just being smart. That's what I like to do and play defense.
About the Nike Hoop Summit
The Nike Hoop Summit will feature a women's game for the first time this season. The men's game will be the 25th in the event's history. Buy tickets here. Here are the rosters for the U.S. and World teams:
U.S. Men's Team
- Omaha Biliew, F, 6-8, Link Year Prep (Nebraska), committed to Iowa State
- Blake Buchanan, C, 6-10, Lake City High (Idaho), committed to Virginia
- Isaiah Collier, G, 6-4, Wheeler High (Georgia), committed to USC
- Eric Dailey Jr., F, 6-7, IMG Academy (Florida), committed to Oklahoma State
- Justin Edwards, F, 6-7, Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia), committed to Kentucky
- Ron Holland, F, 6-8, Duncanville High (Texas), committed to Texas
- Bronny James, G, 6-3, Sierra Canyon High (California), uncommitted
- Jared McCain, G, 6-3, Centennial High (California), committed to Duke
- Jackson Shelstad, G, 6-1, West Linn High (Oregon), committed to Oregon
- Sean Stewart, F, 6-8, Windermere Prep (Florida), committed to Duke
- DaJuan Wagner Jr., G, 6-3, Camden High (New Jersey), committed to Kentucky
- Ja'Kobe Walter, G, 6-5, Link Year Prep (Texas), committed to Baylor
- Cody Williams, F, 6-8, Perry High (Arizona), committed to Colorado
World Men's Team
- Taylor Bol Bowen, F, 6-9, South Sudan, Brewster Academy, committed to Florida State
- Garwey Dual, G, 6-5, South Sudan, So Cal Academy, uncommitted
- Baye Fall, C, 6-10, Senegal, Accelerated Schools, committed to Arkansas
- Aden Holloway, G, 6-0, Canada, Prolific Prep, committed to Auburn
- London Johnson, G, 6-3, Jamaica, G League Ignite
- Miro Little, G, 6-4, Finland, Sunrise Christian, committed to Baylor
- Mackenzie Mgbako, F, 6-8, Nigeria, Roselle Catholic, committed to Duke
- Yves Missi, C, 6-11, Cameroon, Prolific Prep, committed to Baylor
- Michael Nwoko, C, 6-10, Canada, Prolific Prep, committed to Miami
- Zaccharie Risacher, G/F, 6-8, France, ASVEL, uncommitted
- Ibrahima Sacko, G/F, 6-6, Guinea, J Addison Prep, uncommitted
- Andrej Stojakovic, G, 6-8, Greece, Jesuit, committed to Stanford
- Alex Toohey, F, 6-7, Australia, NBA Global Academy, committed to Gonzaga
U.S. Women's Team
- Sunaja "Nunu" Agara, G, 6-2, Hopkins High (Minnesota), committed to Stanford
- Kamorea "KK" Arnold, G, 5-9, Germantown High (Wisconsin), committed to UConn
- Madison Booker, F, 6-1, Germantown High (Mississippi), committed to Texas
- Zoe Brooks, G, 5-9, Saint John Vianney High (New Jersey), committed to North Carolina State
- Breya Cunningham, C, 6-4, La Jolla County Day School (California), committed to Arizona
- Aalyah Del Rosario, C, 6-6, The Webb School of Bell Buckle (Connecticut), committed to Louisiana State
- Jadyn Donovan, F, 6-0, Sidwell Friends (Maryland), committed to Duke
- Hannah Hidalgo, G, 5-7, Paul VI (New Jersey), committed to Notre Dame
- Ashlynn Shade, G, 5-10, La Lumiere (Indiana), committed to UConn
- Judea "JuJu" Watkins, G, 6-1, Sierra Canyon (California), committed to USC
- Jada Williams, G, 5-8, La Jolla County Day School (Missouri), committed to Arizona
- Mikaylah Williams, F, 6-1, Parkway High (Louisiana), committed to Louisiana State
- Sahara Williams, G, 5-11, West High (Indiana), committed to Oklahoma
World Women's Team
- Diana Collins, G, 5-10, Sweden, Brookwood High, committed to Ohio State
- Iva Dorja Zaja, F, 6-3, Croatia, ZKK Tresnjevka, uncommitted
- Marine Dursus, G, 5-9, France, Centre Federal BB Paris, uncommitted
- Toby Fournier, G/F, 6-2, Canada, Crestwood Secondary, uncommitted
- Reina Fukuo, C, 6-4, Japan, Ohka Gakuen High, uncommitted
- Delaney Gibb, G, 5-11, Canada, Raymond High, uncommitted
- Madina Okot, F, 6-5, Kenya, Zetech Sparks, uncommitted
- Nyadiew Puoch, F, 6-1, Australia, Southside Flyers, uncommitted
- Diora Ressaissi, G/F, 6-0, Sweden, Long Island Lutheran, uncommitted
- Shaneice Swain, G, 5-9, Australia, UC Capitals, uncommitted
- Syla Swords, G, 6-0, Canada, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary, uncommitted
- Letycia Vasconcelos, C, 6-7, Brazil, Montverde Academy, committed to Baylor