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Bronny James warms up before USC game for first time this season after heart issue

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bronny James before a game for the first time this season after suffering a cardiac arrest in July.

He has yet to make his collegiate debut after it was determined he had a congenital heart defect that was treatable.

When asked how big a step that was for his son, Lakers superstar LeBron James smiled broadly Sunday night and said “Yeah. That’s awesome. I feel it. He’s almost there.”

“It’s awesome having him back and on the team with us and participating with us,” USC guard Kobe Johnson said after the Trojans beat Brown 81-70. “We want him back as soon as possible but we want him to be as healthy as possible when he comes back. Every day we pray that he keeps getting better and hopefully sometime this year he’s able to get on the floor with us.”

James has done some individual work before games, but hadn’t been on the court warming up with his teammates before Sunday’s game.

Added USC coach Andy Enfield: “It was great. He went through warmups with the team. He’s a big part of our program and our team. He’s a terrific teammate. We look forward to hopefully one day getting him back on the court but when that day is, that’s not my decision. We’re going to patient and go through the process.”

James played his high school career at Sierra Canyon, just north of Los Angeles and is a freshman guard at USC.

Bronny James then made the short downtown trip from the Galen Center to Crypto.Com Arena to see his dad score 37 points, including the go-ahead free throw, in the Lakers 105-104 victory over the Houston Rockets.

“It was great to have him here. To see my man with a smile,” he said. “Anybody who’s got college kids, you know they leave and you might not see him for a week or two and then they show up at your house for laundry and a warm, fresh meal. It makes me super-duper happy.”

LeBron James said it was the first time he’d seen his son in two weeks.

“It’s OK. He’s got school, practice and he’s training. Listen, the boy’s 19 years old. That’s what FaceTime video is for,” he said.

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AP Sports Writer Joe Reedy in Los Angeles contributed.

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AP college basketball: /hub/college-basketball and /hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and