Basketball: Bronny James to NZ Breakers? Why LeBron's son could choose NBL over college

Momentum is gaining for the son of basketball superstar LeBron James to skip college and take his talents to the Australian NBL in pursuit of the NBA.

Bronny James, 18, graduates from high school in April and is a projected top-10 pick in the 2024 NBA draft, but how he gets to the big stage remains unclear, with the conventional route through the NCAA no longer the only pathway.

More and more NBA hopefuls are opting to ply their trade overseas and forgo college basketball altogether, with the ANBL providing the perfect platform.

LeBron James.
LeBron James. Photo credit: Getty Images

NZ Breakers are no exception to this, with Ousmane Dieng, Hugo Besson and RJ Hampton all making the jump straight from the Auckland club in recent seasons.

French shooting guard Rayan Rupert will likely be the next offering in this year's NBA draft, after joining the Breakers as part of the 2022/23 Next Stars programme.

So, why Bronny? ANBL league owner Larry Kestelman has previously revealed conversations have already taken place to sign the highly-regarded prodigy. 

Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball's father has also urged James to follow his son's footsteps to NBA stardom. Ball played for Illawarra Hawks in the 2019/20 ANBL season and was the No.3 pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

"You can go set your own stage across the water," LaVar Ball told Sporting News Australia. "He already got the name, so people want to see [him].

"He's going to fill the gym up. You're playing against grown men and you get paid.

"If you want to play basketball and you're really that dude, why am I sitting in class trying to pass a chemistry test? I don't want to play chemistry, I don't want to practise Spanish.

"No, I want to wake up, go practice, go back to sleep, go practice, have a game, practice. That's all I want to do.

"I don't wanna be like, 'Hey, I'll meet you in the student union for study hall'."

LaVar Ball has also revealed to Mai FM that his other son, LiAngelo, "wants to play for the NZ Breakers".

Newshub understands there is mutual interest from the Auckland-based franchise, as they look ahead to the 2023/24 NBL season.