$212,000 NIL-valued JuJu Watkins reacts to USC lacrosse team's adorable gesture after gigantic 15-6 victory: "So dope"

USC basketball star Juju Watkins
USC basketball star Juju Watkins

When JuJu Watkins registered 33 points in USC's 88-51 win against the Oregon Ducks last Friday, she tied a school record long held by Trojans great Cheryl Miller.

That was the tenth time that Watkins had scored 30+ points this season, joint most with Miller, and the season is far from over.

JuJu mania is taking over Los Angeles, and nowhere was it more stark than during the No. 15 Trojans women's lacrosse team's massive 15-6 win over Hofstra last weekend. During the game, associate head coach Lauren Gunning had a picture of Watkins on her binder.

On Thursday, the $212,000 NIL-valued Watkins (as per On3) reacted to the gesture on her Instagram stories with the caption:

"So dope."
Image via Instagram
Image via Instagram

Watkins and the No. 7 USC Trojans are set to take on the No. 11 Colorado Buffaloes on Friday night. The game will tipoff at 7 p.m. and shown live on the Pac-12 Network.

JuJu Watkins has the 'Mamba Mentality'

If the record-breaking Caitlin Clark did not exist, JuJu Watkins would be hogging all of the women's college basketball headlines this season. Her average of 27.5 points scored is only second to Clark nationwide.

Her talent has been recognized from all quarters, but her mentality is the one aspect that has been lauded across the board.

During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Watkins revealed her mature approach to basketball that belies her freshwoman status.

“Learning that you’re not going to be on every day,” Watkins said. “You practice every day, knowing that your shot is off or things are not going your way, there’s always another day to it. I think that’s most important, and it’s helped me a lot [to] just pace myself.”

JuJu Watkins unsurprisingly revealed that the late Kobe Bryant was an inspiration for her.

“Kobe is LA,” Watkins said. “I’m always just in constant awe of him and his legacy, and of course Gigi, too. [I’m] just always making sure I have that type of mindset and trying to adopt more of that Mamba mentality every time I step on the court.”

Watkin's teammate, guard India Otto, also echoed the "mamba mentality" tag that JuJu Watkins has been branded with.

“Ju is a relentless worker,” said guard India Otto. “Just insane. It was insane. She has such a level of focus and that Mamba mentality she brings to every game, but you could just see she was extra, extra dialed in.”

After scoring 33 points against Oregon last week, USC coach Lindsay Gottlieb appeared stunned while speaking about Watkins during her postgame news conference.

“I can’t say enough about our young superstar,” Gottlieb said. “She keeps getting better, she’s coachable and she learns from the film. Her first half was about as good as it could possibly get and she contributes to winning.”

It is perhaps fitting that JuJu Watkins plays for the USC Trojans, one of the programs selected to be 'Mamba Schools' by Vanessa Bryant a few months ago.

What could Alabama basketball's 2024-25 starting lineup look like? Find out here

Edited by R. Elahi
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