JuJu Watkins Is Ready For Her Next Chapter

We sat down with the number one recruit and new USC Trojan

juju watkins mobile
Lids/JuJu Watkins

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s officially JuJu Watkins season. The number one basketball recruit is gearing up to begin her year season at Sierra Canyon, and generating tons of buzz while at it. The young phenom has just made her long-awaited decision on which university she will grace her presence at next, confirming last week her commitment to USC, and plans on making her senior year at Sierra Canyon a memorable one.

These recent months have been quite noteworthy for Watkins: an NIL deal with Klutch Sports, a deal with Nike, a major commercial alongside LeBron James and her friend/schoolmate Bronny James, and yet, she is as humble as they come.

Related: Brea Beal: The Superstar Athlete With Big Plans For the Future

Watkins’ latest accomplishment is a new Lids campaign where she’s one of five KLUTCH NIL clients launching custom embroidery designs. Ahead of her November 23rd release, we caught up with JuJu to learn more about her journey, this latest campaign, and her upcoming season.

ONE37pm: Hi JuJu! So nice to be talking with you today! You are prepping for your senior year at Sierra Canyon which is very exciting! How did you spend your off-season? 

Watkins: Well, I spent some time with Team USA, and that kind of took up a bit of my summer. Other than that, this off-season I was mainly just hanging out and enjoying my last summer before I head off to college. I spent time with my best friend and family, and I also got in the gym everyday.

ONE37pm: Awesome! Well, congratulations on your partnership with Lids! Your campaign comes out on November 23rd, so could you just talk a little bit more about what it was like putting that together?

Watkins: Thank You! When Klutch set it up for me to create this hat, it was amazing because this is one of my first projects where I’ve had the creative ability to show my talents. There weren’t any restrictions, so that was great for me to be super creative and have no boundaries with designing this hat.

ONE37pm:  People who love the peace & love signs tend to be real chill free spirits. Is that how you would describe your personality? Are you somebody who likes the 60s and 70s?

Watkins: Yeah I would definitely agree with that! And yes I am somebody who likes the 60s and 70s a lot!

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ONE37pm: How about the message you have in the middle which is “The Rose That Grew From Concrete.” Tell us more about that if you are comfortable.

Watkins: That’s one of my favorite quotes from Tupac, and I feel like I am a living testament to that. I come from the inner city of Watts, and I have been able to blossom from that. I have been able to rise above the violence within the community, the adversity, and preconceived notions where people judge you because of where you're from. I’ve been able to still be who I am and show where I come from.

I like to put myself in the position of the “rose” coming from a place where people don’t expect for you to blossom or become successful, and where you have to work twice as hard as everyone else. 

ONE37pm: Would you call yourself an underdog?

Watkins: Oh for sure. I’m an underdog. I feel like I’m always the underdog. So just being one and coming from the inner city to rise above it all and create colors and beauty in a setting that’s not really like that. 

ONE37pm: Favorite show and hobby outside of sports?

Watkins: My favorite show is Euphoria because I’m a big fan of Zendaya, and I love shopping and fashion! Making this hat with Lids made me want to wear hats more often. Being able to create this design with Lids and Klutch was a dream come true, and I’m more excited for things like this to be able to happen in the future!

You can continue to keep up with JuJu via Instagram.  

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