USC lands No.1 women’s basketball recruit Juju Watkins

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 04: Juju Watkins of Sierra Canyon drives the ball against a Christ the King player during The Chosen - 1's Invitational High School Basketball Showcase at the Staples Center on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Juju Watkins of Sierra Canyon has been called a "generational player." Will take her talents to USC. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Juju Watkins, the No. 1 recruit in high school girls' basketball, signed a national letter of intent to commit to University of Southern California in her high school Sierra Canyon’s gym Tuesday.

Watkins received offers from several schools and narrowed her choices to South Carolina, Stanford and her hometown team, USC.

Students raised a Trojan themed banner that read “HOME” as Watkins revealed her choice at the Los Angeles high school.

Watkins was also the first high school athlete to sign with Klutch Sports Group for NIL representation and recently finalized an NIL endorsement deal with Nike, alongside Sierra Canyon classmate Bronny James.

The 17-year-old grew up in Watts and is poised to become another Los Angeles-grown USC women’s basketball legend like WNBA greats Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and Cheryl Miller.

“To be born and raised here and to have a community behind me is amazing, to just continue my L.A. legacy, it hits different,” Watkins said through tears after her commitment.

Watkins averaged 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.8 steals and 2 blocks last season for Sierra Canyon and led the team to the state title.

The 6-foot-2 guard has won two gold medals playing on USA national teams. Last summer, she started all seven games as a member of the USA Basketball Women's U17 National Team and averaged a team-high 13.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.3 steals.

While USC’s alumni are highly decorated, the program hasn't won a national championship since it went back-to-back in 1983 and 1984. It last won a conference title in 1994 and the conference tournament in 2014.

Watkins has her high school basketball season to focus on, but still had a message for Trojan fans.

“I’m coming soon, I’m on the way and I’m real excited,” Watkins said.

CHATSWORTH, CA - OCTOBER 27, 2021: JuJu Watkins, left, a member of the Sierra High School girls basketball team, and head coach Alicia Komaki take questions from reporters during media day inside the schools gymnasium.  (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Juju Watkins is excited to represent her hometown as a USC commit. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)