In 2015, USA TODAY High School Sports brought you the story of incredible 11-year-old girls basketball player Ashlyn Watkins, who made waves by dunking on a 9-foot hoop in a youth basketball tournament. Now she’s entering the eighth grade and she’s still making headlines by dunking. This time the slams are just coming on a regulation hoop.
That’s Watkins in the video above, throwing down a dunk with ease before a tournament game. Watkins is a rising eighth-grader at Cardinal Newman School in Columbia, S.C., where she has dominated without throwing down a dunk during a regulation game.
Per MaxPreps’ reporting, she averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and three assists per game as a seventh grader.
She may be able to throw down a jam in a game sooner rather than later. Watkins is already listed at 6-foot-2, and she may still grow taller during her final middle school year or early in her high school career.
Obviously, she’s already throwing down without any additional height, so it’s not as if that is necessarily the missing link that will get her over the rim in a game. She just has to find the right spot.
That’s something that shouldn’t be hard for her, given her coach’s assessment of her personality and commitment to the game.
“Ashlyn can get the ball off the rim and go coast-to-coast with it,” coach, Daryl Jarvis told MaxPreps. “She has a bright future and is a true student of the game.”