According to the New York Times, the Rutgers basketball program is interested in recruiting the son of NBA legend LeBron James. Bronny James is a four-star recruit considered one of the best players in the class of 2023. Head coach Steve Pikiell is reportedly making an effort to recruit him.
The New York Times claims that Pikiell's development of players such as Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr. could appeal to James. In addition, the coach's success in turning non-traditional recruits into prominent Big Ten players has also caught the athlete's attention.
"As far-fetched as it might seem, Rutgers is hoping Coach Steve Pikiell's strong record of development — turning lightly regarded recruits such as Geo Baker, Ron Harper Jr. and Myles Johnson into decorated Big Ten players — carries some appeal to James," the report said.
This report is a rare look into the recruitment of James, as it provides a glimpse into his mysterious past. No offers were reported on his official page on 247Sports, as coaches have not been actively recruiting him until recently.
It is unclear if James will attend college or play in a development league. He has also been exploring other routes, such as bypassing college basketball to join NBA.
Although it is unclear if he will attend college, the 6-foot-3 guard's potential has sparked interest from various schools. Some of these include the likes of Michigan and Duke and those who watched him during the Nike Peach Jam, which was held in July. Ed Estevan, the coach of James' AAU team, Strive for Greatness, said that the player is expected to take several recruiting visits this fall.
If James decides to attend college, his chances of playing for the school's basketball team are unlikely. Non-basketball factors could also affect the program's chances of landing him.
One of the most likely factors that could affect the program's chances of landing James is the school's sponsorship deal with Nike. This company had heavily invested in his father, who was a talented athlete when he entered the NBA.
"A few things seem certain: If Bronny attends college, it will be at a school sponsored by Nike, which has invested heavily in his father since James entered the NBA as a generational phenom in 2003," the report said.
Pikiell has a history of successfully recruiting the sons of NBA players. For instance, the program landed the son of Ron Harper, who played for the Toronto Raptors after the NBA Draft in 2022. He had one of the best careers in the history of the program.
James will not be the top-ranked member of the school's 2023 recruiting class if he decides to sign with the program. Gavin Griffiths, who committed to the program earlier this year, would be regarded as the highest-ranked member of the class.
If James decides to join the program, it will make the program one of the most popular college basketball programs. The spectacle surrounding his games at the Peach Jam would be a fitting addition to the school's basketball program.
The report noted that the crowds gathered around the court to watch James' games during the event were some of the largest in the country. The fans even waited outside the court an hour before tipoff.