LeBron James' son is only a few basketballs tall, but he's already a whiz at the game. Apparently, he's good enough to already have the attention of at least one major college head coach.
Ohio State's Thad Matta was asked last week if LeBron James, Jr., who is 9, is on his recruiting radar for the Buckeyes. (Update: LeBron Jr. just turned 10. His birthday is Oct. 6.)
Matta's response: "He will be."
But before everyone gets their briefs in a twist, let's take a minute to survey the situation. Yes, the gradual encroachment of college recruiting into elementary school gymnasiums is fundamentally gross. And yes, LeBron's son -- nicknamed "Bronny" -- is undoubtedly going to receive at least some measure of media spectacle that isn't deserved, particularly when so much development as an athlete remains.
At the same time, James' son isn't just a name. Among his peers, he's got a decent outside shot, can drive the lane, and he knocks down free throws with a smooth shooting stroke. There's no reason to think he couldn't become at least a serviceable college player:
Meanwhile, consider Ohio State's perspective. They likely would have signed James if he hadn't been able to jump straight from high school to the NBA. Even if Bronny was only good enough to ride the bench, the relationship his signing would foster between the James and Buckeyes families would be a promotional gold mine for the university.
Yes, the larger point here is that Bronny is still only 9. But by virtue of who his father is, he'll always have a spotlight on him -- no matter what he does with his life.
Here are some more Bronny highlights from the summer.