Umdlali we-basketball wamantombazane wonyaka: U-Juju Watkins waseSierra Canyon

Mhlawumbe ibhanisi linamandla omlingo, lihlezi ngokuzolile phezu kwekhanda likaJuju Watkins njengokukhanya kwaphezulu njengoba ehlehla eyofuna esinye isigqi.

UDiana Taurasi uyisihlabani sokuqala saseSouthern California ukukhulisa isitayela, kukhumbula umqeqeshi weWatkins u-Alicia Komaki, owaduma kakhulu kwavela amakhasi abalandeli. U-Watkins useyibeke kwelinye izinga – izinwele eziboshelwe cishe ekhanda lenkosi njengoba ehlala phansi. Kube yisitayela sakhe sokusayina emsebenzini wakhe wesikole samabanga aphezulu, okokuqala e-LA Windward, kwase kulandela e-Chatsworth Sierra Canyon. Usho ukhiye kuwo wonke umdlalo.

“Buka umuhle,” kusho u-Watkins, “ngenkathi izinwele zakho zingekho ebusweni bakho.”

Yindlela okufanele uhambe ngayo. Ngakho-ke uzophromotha ibhansi kunoma ngubani oza naye. Ngokubamba.

“Bun wami, angicabangi ukuthi kukhona umuntu ongakwazi ukulingisa lokho kanye,” kusho uWatkins, emamatheka.

Ungomunye woyedwa, ngokudlulele, futhi umhlaba we-basketball ukubonile kumasizini amabili omlando eSierra Canyon. Okwesithathu kusukela ngesizini yakhe yokuqala e-Windward, u-Watkins eqokwe njengomdlali we-basketball wamantombazane we-The Times.

Kwakubonakala kungenakwenzeka ukuthi ukuzibophezela kwe-USC kungase kuyise umdlalo wakhe ezingeni eliphezulu ngemva kokugijima kompetha kahulumeni ngonyaka odlule, nokho waba umshayi magoli osebenza kahle kakhulu nomdlali webhola othuthukisiwe njengomdala, isilinganiso samaphuzu angu-27.3, ama-rebounds angu-13.8 kanye no-3.6 esiza abantulayo ukhethe umdlali we-basketball wamantombazane we-Gatorade kazwelonke wonyaka. Uthole amaphuzu angu-60 emdlalweni wobusuku bango-Jan. 31 futhi waholela iSierra Canyon esicoco se-Southern Section Open Division ngaphambi kokuthi iqembu liwele kuma-playoffs esifunda e-Etiwanda.

“Ungomunye wabadlali be-basketball abasezingeni eliphezulu kakhulu ezweni abake bawudlala lo mdlalo,” kusho uKomaki. “Ngiqonde, akukho mbuzo ngakho.”

U-Watkins akakaze acabange ukuthi angathatha i-basketball kuze kube manje, nokho usezakhele inkundla ngokungafani nezikole zamabanga aphezulu ezimbalwa emlandweni – eziphilayo, ingane nje ephuma kuma-Watts, abantu bayaqaphela ngoba umdlalo wayo ukhethekile.

“Kwakujabulisa kakhulu ukubona ukuthi lokho kungenzeka kumsubathi wesifazane,” kusho uKomaki. “Yilokho okuqale engqondweni yami — wow, lokhu kwenzeka kumsubathi wesifazane. Isikhathi.”

Into ethusayo, uKomaki uthe, ukuthi uWatkins akakafinyeleli amandla akhe.

“Igama likaJuju lifana nobukhulu,” kusho uKomaki, “kuzo zonke izici.”