Daily News Girls Athlete of the Year: Juju Watkins, Sierra Canyon

Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now.

LA DAILY NEWS GIRLS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 2023

Sierra Canyon’s Juju Watkins against Ontario Christian in their CIF Southern Section Open Division playoff game February 15, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Juju Watkins looks on during a timeout against Ontario Christian in their CIF Southern Section Open Division playoff game February 15, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon senior Juju Watkins, left, was presented the national Gatorade award by WNBA star Candace Parker during a surprise ceremony at the school Monday, March 13. (Photo courtesy of Gatorade)

Sierra Canyon Juju Watkins, right, and Etiwanda forward Mykelle Richards scramble for a loose ball in the CIF-SS Open Division Championship basketball game in Anaheim on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Juju Watkins takes a shot against Eitwanda during the CIF State Open Division SoCal Regional final at Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon girls basketball player Juju Watkins answers a questions from a reporter as Sierra Canyon holds its annual media day event for both girls and boys basketball programs October 12, 2022.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Juju Watkins battles under the rim against Ontario Christian in their CIF Southern Section Open Division playoff game February 15, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon Juju Watkins, center, and center Emilia Krstevski celebrate winning the CIF-SS Open Division Championship basketball game against Etiwanda in Anaheim on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s injured JuJu Watkins helps with rebounding before their game with Harvard-Westlake Tuesday, January 3, 2022. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Sierra Canyon Juju Watkins, right, Carolina Yerke, left, and other team members celebrate after winning the CIF-SS Open Division Championship basketball game against Etiwanda in Anaheim on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Juju Watkins takes a shot against Etiwanda during the CIF State Open Division SoCal Regional final at Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Juju Watkins announced she’ll be playing women’s basketball at USC live on ESPN Tuesday morning. (Tarek Fattal/SCNG)

Sierra Canyon’s Juju Watkins and Crystal Wang let out smiles as they are introduced during pregame festivities in their CIF Southern Section Open Division playoff game February 15, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

Name: Juju Watkins

School: Sierra Canyon

Year: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Notable highlights: After seeing Juju Watkins dominate the high school level so effortlessly, it will be interesting to see what she does next. But before she moves on to play women’s basketball at USC, here’s a rundown of what she accomplished this past year and why she’s the LA Daily News Girls Athlete of the Year.

Considered the country’s No. 1 recruit since she was a sophomore, Watkins saved her best for last. As a senior, the 6-foot guard averaged 27.3 points, 13.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.6 blocks per game while leading Sierra Canyon to a 31-1 overall record and the CIF Southern Section Open Division championship.

Watkins’ efforts earned her a spot in the McDonald’s All-American Game, the Gatorade National Player of the Year honor, and helped Sierra Canyon be named national champions by ESPN in April. As much publicity as the boys basketball team gets at Sierra Canyon, the girls national championship is the school’s first.

Fattal: Sierra Canyon’s Juju Watkins dominating her way into high school greatness

Harvard-Westlake girls basketball coach Melissa Hearlihy has been coaching in Southern California since 1985 and compared Watkins’ talents to that of Cheryl Miller.

“It’s hard to think of anyone that’s as dominant as she is,” Hearlihy said in February. “She’s a 6-foot guard. Twenty years ago, a girl that size was playing with their back to the basket. The only name I can compare her to would be Cheryl Miller, because of the combination of size, skill, athleticism and power.”

Watkins etched herself into San Fernando Valley history when she scored 60 points and notched 21 rebounds in an 88-39 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 31, marking the second-best scoring performance in area history, according to Cal-Hi Sports.

Related Articles

High School Sports |


Swanson: Jacob Wilson, Roc Riggio give MLB draft a distinct Thousand Oaks vibe

High School Sports |


Lalo Mendoza leaves behind legacy of excellence and racial equality

High School Sports |


Four-star safety Marquis Gallegos transfers from Chaminade to Sierra Canyon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *