Watch Bronny, LeBron James’ son, emulate his dad’s iconic chase-down block after cardiac arrest

Bronny James is a chip off the old block.

The 19-year-old freshman at USC — and the eldest son of NBA icon LeBron James — made his college basketball debut Sunday as the Trojans hosted the Long Beach State 49ers. And even though he saw just 16 minutes of play, James showed some flashes of brilliance that brought to mind some of his dad’s most memorable moments on the court.

Bronny James passes the ball for USC as his father, LeBron James, looks on.

One such play came with roughly five minutes remaining in the first half. After a USC turnover on the far end of the court, James sprinted the length of the floor and caught up to Long Beach State’s Jadon Jones just as he went up for a layup.

After his teammate, Boogie Ellis, failed to deflect the shot himself, James catapulted into the air and volleyed the ball off the glass to record the first block of his Trojans career in epic fashion:

Now where have we seen that before?

Perhaps you remember the 2016 NBA Finals, in which the elder James and his Cleveland Cavaliers took down the mighty Golden State Warriors to clinch the franchise’s first-ever NBA championship in the final moments of an epic Game 7.

With just under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 89 points apiece, Warriors superstar and two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry delivered a bounce pass to veteran Andre Iguodala for a seemingly wide-open layup.

LeBron James blocks Andre Iguodala's layup attempt during Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

LeBron James blocks Andre Iguodala’s layup attempt during Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images

The four-time NBA MVP — and soon-to-be 2016 NBA Finals MVP — raced from outside the three-point line into the paint and flew into the air. Just after Iguodala put up his shot, James emphatically swatted the ball off the backboard in what is arguably the most iconic defensive play of his illustrious career to date.

The striking similarity between Bronny’s first collegiate block and his dad’s legendary “Blocked by James!” rejection shows that raw talent hasn’t skipped a generation in the James household. It’s all the more impressive given the younger James’ uncertain status heading into the season.

Back in July, James was rushed to the ICU after he went into cardiac arrest during basketball practice at USC’s Galen Center. He was discharged from the hospital within days of the incident and was subsequently diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, per CNN.

The episode cast doubt on whether James would be able to continue his nascent basketball career. But at the end of November, doctors cleared the budding star “for a full return to basketball,” per a statement from a James family spokesperson.

Bronny James records a chase-down block in his first game with the USC Trojans.

Bronny James records a chase-down block in his first game with the USC Trojans. Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

James finished Sunday’s game with four points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one massive block. Still, his efforts weren’t enough for the Trojans to hold off the 49ers, who came away with the 84-79 upset.

USC will look to get back in the winning column Sunday as James and company take on the Auburn Tigers down in Alabama. Fans can watch the action unfold on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

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