Surrounded by her Sierra Canyon teammates, Juju Watkins was relishing the moment Tuesday afternoon.
The star senior waited until the end of the NCAA early signing period to make her decision, but her teammates erupted in celebration when she announced that she was signing her National Letter of Intent with the University of Southern California in front of a packed crowd at the school’s gymnasium in Los Angeles.
Watkins picked the Trojans over the likes of Stanford and South Carolina, choosing to stay close to home in the end.
“To just be born and raised here and to have a community behind me is amazing,” Watkins told Luca Evans of the Los Angeles Times. “To just continue my L.A. legacy, and I feel like no matter where I would’ve gone, that would’ve still been a part of me, but I just think it hits different when I’m born and raised here and I get to continue my journey.”
BREAKING: Juju Watkins, the No. 1 recruit in ESPNW's class of 2023 rankings, has committed to USC 🚨 pic.twitter.com/1bAWxV7lye— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) November 15, 2022
BREAKING: Juju Watkins, the No. 1 recruit in ESPNW's class of 2023 rankings, has committed to USC 🚨 pic.twitter.com/1bAWxV7lye
The 6-foot-2 guard burst onto the scene for Sierra Canyon in 2021-22, averaging 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.8 steals and 2.0 blocks per game in her first season with the program. The Trailblazers went on to claim their second straight California Interscholastic Federation Open Division state crown.
She’s currently ranked No. 2 in the latest JWS player rankings for the Class of 2023 and is coming off a summer campaign in which she was named MVP at the FIBA U17 World Cup in Debrecen, Hungary.
Watkins announced her decision live on ESPN and said family was the main reason she decided to go with the Trojans.