USC commit Juju Watkins headlines the trio of three finalists for the Gatorade National Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year award.
Hannah Hidalgo, a Notre Dame commit out of Paul VI (New Jersey), and Jadyn Donovan, a Duke recruit out of Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.), round out the group of finalists.
For California native Watkins, the award comes after a rollercoaster week. The Sierra Canyon guard and her team lost in the state regional final on Tuesday night, ending their quest for a perfect season and a state championship. But on Friday, she was named the Naismith Girls’ High School Player of the Year.
The rising star grew up just 10 minutes from the USC campus, and she’ll stay close to home as she continues her basketball career. She announced her commitment to USC in November in front of fiends and classmates at Sierra Canyon.
“Juju is the best and most decorated player of her class both in the country and internationally, ” USC coach Lindsay Gottlieb said in a press release at the time. “I could talk for days about her skill set: her shot-making ability, creativity to the rim, dominance on the boards, defensive tenacity and her elite court vision.”
The 6-foot-1 guard led Sierra Canyon to a state title in her junior season with 24.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.8 steals and 2.0 blocks per game.