Was JuJu Watkins a Star Before USC Trojans? Know All About NCAA Freshman’s High School Days

Published 12/19/2023, 8:18 AM EST

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JuJu Watkins’ razzle-dazzle performances are making the ongoing 2023-24 NCAA season quite a spectacle. With her striking skills and spirit, she has led the USC Trojans to consecutive wins. The five-star recruit has certainly lived up to the hype and she isn’t looking to stop just yet. But it looks like the star was born well before she ruled the roost of the college basketball circuit.

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Right from her high school days, JuJu Watkins has been impressing the basketball world with her court display. And now when NBA legends are drooling over the freshman’s feats, many are wondering about her basketball prowess before joining the Trojans. 

The making of a phenomenon

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Unlike many athletes, the story of JuJu Watkins is very different. After being born into a family of athletes, she was pushed towards tennis to follow the footsteps of her sisters. But Watkins convinced her parents to pursue basketball. Both her parents are former basketball players, so they played a huge role in helping Watkins reach the stage where she is right now. 

Watkins started to play the sport in a gym named after her grandfather, who founded the Watts Labor Community Action Committee. During the days before highschool, Watkins trained under the Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy. As she grew up, to take the game to the next level, Watkins joined the Windward School in Los Angeles, and that marked the start of a legend in the making. 

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During her high school days, she led her team to the CIF Southern Section Open Division title game and the regional final as a freshman, while averaging 21 points and 9 rebounds per game. The basketball community quickly realized her talents as Watkins was named SportsKid of the Year by Sports Illustrated. As she moved to her sophomore year, she started to average 27 points and 12 rebounds per game. To elevate her game, she decided to transfer to Sierra Canyon School, where she played alongside the son of NBA legend, Bronny James, who was a standout on the boys’ basketball team. 

With her impressive scoring ability, Watkins was named Gatorade Player of the Year and Ms. Basketball. As she reached her senior year, she averaged 27.3 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game as she led her team to the CIF Southern Section Open Division title.

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Impressing the world with a flawless career, she was considered a five-star recruit and the number one player in the 2023 class. Notably, she announced her commitment to USC, where she is sending shockwaves as a freshman in the ongoing 2023-24 NCAA season. 

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How has she performed so far?

In the debut game of her college career, JuJu Watkins dropped 32 points against the Ohio State Buckeyes, which set the tone for her upcoming games. And without failing the expectations of the fans, Watkins is currently averaging 27.3 points, 7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. 

With the help of her stellar performance, the Trojans have played eight matches so far and won all of them with an average score difference of 23.8 points. Seeing the work of art by Watkins, many fans have already finalized her for the honors of NCAA Freshman of the Year.

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But her true potential is yet to be tapped by the Trojans team. And once that happens there would be no stopping her and she would be recognized as one of the best players in the history of college basketball. 

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Written by:

Ojus Verma

203Articles

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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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