Juju Watkins, the No. 1 recruit in high school girls' basketball, signed a national letter of intent to commit to University of Southern California in her high school Sierra Canyon’s gym Tuesday.
Watkins received offers from several schools and narrowed her choices to South Carolina, Stanford and her hometown team, USC.
Students raised a Trojan themed banner that read “HOME” as Watkins revealed her choice at the Los Angeles high school.
The celebration at Sierra Canyon as Juju Watkins revels her college choice: USC women’s basketball. pic.twitter.com/ySinOmHmS2
— Luca Evans (@bylucaevans) November 15, 2022
Watkins was also the first high school athlete to sign with Klutch Sports Group for NIL representation and recently finalized an NIL endorsement deal with Nike, alongside Sierra Canyon classmate Bronny James.
We’re excited to announce the newest student athletes to join our Nike family: Caitlin Clark, Bronny James, Haley Jones, DJ Wagner and Juju Watkins.
Hit that ❤️ to show them some love and welcome them to the Nike Basketball fam. pic.twitter.com/xIPZN2raOS
— Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball) October 10, 2022
The 17-year-old grew up in Watts and is poised to become another Los Angeles-grown USC women’s basketball legend like WNBA greats Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and Cheryl Miller.
“To be born and raised here and to have a community behind me is amazing, to just continue my L.A. legacy, it hits different,” Watkins said through tears after her commitment.
Watkins averaged 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.8 steals and 2 blocks last season for Sierra Canyon and led the team to the state title.
The 6-foot-2 guard has won two gold medals playing on USA national teams. Last summer, she started all seven games as a member of the USA Basketball Women's U17 National Team and averaged a team-high 13.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.3 steals.
While USC’s alumni are highly decorated, the program hasn't won a national championship since it went back-to-back in 1983 and 1984. It last won a conference title in 1994 and the conference tournament in 2014.
Watkins has her high school basketball season to focus on, but still had a message for Trojan fans.
“I’m coming soon, I’m on the way and I’m real excited,” Watkins said.