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Bronny James interview: 'I just want to show that I belong'

Oldest son of LeBron James gives first interview to reporters at Nike Hoop Summit in Portland

PORTLAND, OregonBronny James spoke to reporters for the first time on Wednesday in Portland after the first day of Nike Hoop Summit practices.

The Sierra Canyon (California) point guard and oldest son of LeBron James spoke about representing Team USA against Team World at the annual showcase that pits the top under-19 players in the United State against the best from around the world.

The uncommitted 6-foot-3 senior has reportedly been linked to USC, Oregon and Ohio State, though has not himself confirmed as much, nor has he offered a timeline on his commitment. 

He spoke briefly about his recruitment for the first time, but was cut off by an interview moderator when asked about a timeline for making a decision on where he's playing next year. 

[RELATED: ‘I just want to see Bronny’: When Bronny James and Sierra Canyon took their show on the road, spectacle followed]

The 18-year-old James has largely been unavailable to the press throughout his high school career — until Wednesday. Here is everything he said: 

What does it mean to put on the Team USA jersey? 

Bronny James: Of course it’s an honor being chosen like all the elite players in the country, it’s an honor to be accepted, invited to one of these big-time events.

Was it interesting putting that USA on your chest?

James: Interesting might be the wrong word. I was a little excited, happy. Great times to put on the jersey.

When you started your high school career, did you envision yourself being a McDonald’s All-American, getting an invite to the Nike Hoop Summit?

James: I always believe in myself; I try to keep a healthy mindset for myself. But I have goals. I know other people have goals. Whatever the decision is, it is what it is, but I’m happy with the outcome of it.

(Oregon commit) Jackson (Shelstad) has been telling us he’s been trying to recruit you too. What’s that been like having all these guys asking you about what’s going on next year? 

James: Fun times. Good to joke with them. Talking to them, talking to the coaches. It’s good to know they want me there with them, but at the end of the day, it’s my decision. I need to make the right one for me.

[Interview moderator shut down a follow-up question about his timeline for making a decision on where he’s playing after high school.]

Your evolution to get this invite and become a guy who’s become a McDonald’s All-American and Hoop Summit invite, what’s been your key to your transformation? It feels like you’ve made a jump the last year in particular with your game.

James: It’s always been consistency. I feel like I’ve grown at a nice pace throughout my four years of my high school career. So, I feel like me being consistent with doing my workouts and recovery and getting that right mindset has been a great part of me being successful. 

What do you like about being here in Oregon, being back here in Oregon? You got a chance to play in the Les Schwab tournament against some of these dudes. What’s your experience been here in Portland and Oregon in general? 

James: It’s always nice to be here — it’s a nice city. I like the weather out here. Little gloomy, it’s like rain weather, but it’s nice to be here with all the guys … (indiscernible).

Jackson Shelstad (Oregon commit) is a local. What can you say about him — what do you like about him, his personality, that type of thing? 

James: Me and Jackson are still trying to meet each other. He’s a cool dude. I like talking to him and stuff. We’ve been talking about Oregon and stuff. I like his game a lot. He can shoot the ball well. Fast point guard. Makes smart decisions. Everyone likes to play with a good point guard that can make good decisions.

This game has four players whose dads played in the NBA. I don’t think that’s ever happened. How cool is that, and are there any stories you’ve exchanged with guys who’ve talked about it at all?

James: Not really stories, but it’s always a good opportunity to experience, be a part of the four. It’s a great experience.

Has your dad said anything about you being a part of this?

James: He’s just proud. He’s my dad. Gives me good words, gives me good encouragement to just play my game, be myself out here.

What does the Bronny James cheering section look like Saturday?

James: They’re definitely going to be in attendance. You’re going to see them, and you’re going to hear them for sure. The whole family’s going to be out here.

What are you trying to improve on these next few days?

James: Just being confident. Being here with all these elite players, I just want to show that I belong, and what I can do. Just play my game and be confident and be smart. That’s what I like to do at every chance. 

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