Juju Watkins capped her illustrious high school career with one of the most prestigious awards at of the HS sports level. On Monday, it was announced that the Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) star was named the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Watkins had a stellar senior year, averaging 27.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.7 blocks per game as she led Sierra Canyon to a 31-1 record. She had a 45-point, 16-rebound performance on Jan. 26 and then broke her points record five nights later with a 60-point, 21-rebound performance on Jan. 31.
Listed at 6-foot-2, Watkins has entered legendary ranks among girls high school levels. She was the MVP of the FIBA World Cup championship, a McDonald’s All-American, the 2020 Sports Illustrated Sports Kid of the Year, and named the Los Angeles Times Girls Basketball Player of the Year in both her sophomore and junior years (this season’s LA Times award has yet to be announced). Watkins was also Klutch Sports Group’s first female athlete client.
Gatorade also takes community service and education into consideration when choosing awards. Watkins is very involved in the neighborhood of Watts in Los Angeles, working with the Watts Labor Community Action Committee established by her great-grandfather Ted Watkins.
She has said she wants to help the community gain financial literacy and education opportunities, inspire young girls to persevere through adversity, and bring Fortune 500 companies into the area.
“My angle is to inspire my community and become a frontier for women’s basketball,” Watkins said around the she signed with Klutch. “We don’t have as many resources as others, so just speaking up and being a part of that story of women’s basketball.”
She also volunteered locally for Hands of Hope and Shoes for Souls, according to Gatorade. Watkins had a 3.72 GPA.
The No. 1 player in the class of 2023, Watkins has signed with USC, where she will attend this fall.