“Michael Jordan of Women’s Basketball”: Ex-NBA Star Heaps Praise for Juju Watkins, the “Golden Nugget” for WNBA’s Future

Published 02/07/2024, 5:45 AM EST

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Needing just 39 points to set the NCAA women’s basketball scoring record, Caitlin Clark is the one who sets the bar. But USC freshman JuJu Watkins is raising it. The latest addition to the Trojans roster has been in the headlines since her utter dominance against the No. 4-seeded Stanford last Friday. Consequently, Gil’s Arena debates where she could be standing by the end of her basketball career.

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In studios across the country, where discussions on Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark abound, there has been a shift in focus. Sporting her “Mambacita” sneakers, 18-year-old JuJu Watkins is already breaking records. Most recently, she hooped 51 points in a 67–58 win over Stanford Cardinal. As a result, on Gil’s Arena, Lexie Brown and Gilbert Arenas discuss whether she is potentially one of the best in women’s basketball.

The 6’4″ former point guard Gilbert Arenas has closely watched JuJu’s game—she used to play with his daughter at Sierra Canyon. He didn’t hold back praise, claiming, “You have Michael Jordan of women’s basketball at your doorstep. You have the golden nugget. It’s your call. Are you going to it in or let it go to the college for four years?”

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Further, he recalled coach Dawn Staley’s words. Staley had previously said, “JuJu is the greatest women’s basketball player and she is just a high school kid.” Gil added, “She moves and plays just like Booker and Kevin Durant. She has no girl motor in her. She is a game changer. The fact that she has to go to college for four years is going to be a downfall on the W.Staley and Arenas are clearly very optimistic about JuJu, and they are not alone.

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Former WNBA champion Lexie Brown, who was also present on Gil’s Arena livestream, said, “I’ve seen [JuJu Watkins] play twice live. She’s got a pro-ready game; her IQ is very high for someone who is only 18 years old. It’s good to see a young player get the freedom off the rip.”

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Clearly, JuJu has made her name if a coach like Dawn makes such bold claims about her. She is a motivated, focused, and dynamic player who is taking her shots and making money out of those. We cannot wait to see if she will be able to break Caitlin Clark’s all-time scoring record.

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What are your thoughts on the enigmatic JuJu Watkins?

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Written by:

Shahryar Fazal

389Articles

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“Spirit of life lies in expression”. As a boy-next-door growing up in the mystic vibes of Ajmer, I would often wonder about the towering ballers’ ability to forge unity for a common goal. Big guys watching each other’s back and creating brouhaha and belligerence for the glory was a tempting feeling.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra

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