Even before she had loaded the release, Juju Watkins stuck out her tongue.
Before the shot even left her fingertips, Watkins smiled.
After another bucket fell into the during a 25-point performance McDonald’s All-American girls game in Houston, the generation Sierra Canyon Senior threw up a pair of three-finger shields and pranced around the court. It’s that confidence, that joy, that has made Watkins the face of a new generation of basketball talent — and the USC commit Tuesday night reaffirmed her place among some of the nation’s top players, naming it the game’s Most Valuable Player along with Hannah Hidalgo by Paul VI. (New Jersey).
A week earlier in Sierra Canyon, Watkins was presented with the Naismith Player of the Year award, a huge trophy she joked that weighed “like 100 pounds”. That and her McDonald’s jersey rounded out a trophy case from a high school career that rivals any in Southern California girls’ basketball history.
The shooting that made her the nation’s top recruit was shown in full on a stage televised by ESPN on Tuesday night, earning her another wave of admirers as she embarked on the next phase of her journey at USC.
“I’m just proud,” Watkins said Monday, “that I can also be a part of this Trojan legacy.”
The next step in your game? Throw down a dunk. She can get her knuckles over the edge, the 6-foot-1 security guard said Monday, pointing to her fingers.
“Hopefully see you next year,” Watkins grinned.
Bronny James and Jared McCain impress
It was a bright moment for Southern California boys’ basketball: Sierra Canyon senior Bronny James and Corona Centennial Jared McCain sharing the floor at the McDonald’s All-American Boys’ Game on Tuesday night.
And with minutes left, McCain – The Times’ 2022-23 Player of the Year – drove the baseline to find James in the corner for his fifth three-pointer of the evening, the two batting hands after the make.
A simple preview, plain and simple, of the skills everyone will bring to prom: Duke enlists McCain, a dependable anchorman capable of skewing defenses, Unknown enlists James, a timely shotmaker. James in particular stood out in the constant scrutiny of whether he deserved his place in an All-American jersey, scoring 15 points and impressing attendees on social media with his feel for the game.
USC conscript Isaiah Collier had 25 points but missed two late free throws. West fell to East in 109-106.
Source : www.latimes.com