Klutch signs Sierra Canyon star Juju Watkins as first female athlete client

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Klutch Sports Group ventures further in the representation of its clientele. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) star Juju Watkins has signed as the agency’s first female athlete client, a partnership to be announced on Friday.

Klutch Sports Group CEO and Founder Rich Paul said the agency now has the foundation to expand its customer base and provide needed support for female athletes.

“We were never someone who just wanted to get into something from a financial point of view, but it’s important that you represent each individual and the athletes as a whole, that you have the right infrastructure to represent them at a level in which there is no lowering,” Paul said. “If we are going to represent men in a certain way, women have to be represented in exactly the same way.”

The agency aligns itself with a young, high profile client who can be a face of women’s basketball. Watkins, currently in her junior season, is a FIBA ​​U16 Gold Medalist and MVP with Team USA, Los Angeles Times Women’s Basketball Player of the Year and 2020 Sports Illustrated Sports Kid of the Year.

It is also a partnership between a pair of like-minded parties who seek to not only maximize the star guard’s on-court talents, but also achieve his community-building off-court goals.

“The community was kind of our first conversation,” Watkins said. “That’s what we shared in common, just pushing my narrative and how I want to impact not just the basketball side, but my community and things outside of basketball.”

As high as Watkins’ ambitions are, for as many medals as she has on her mantle, junior basketball history revolves around the Watts community. The 2.5 square mile, predominantly minority Los Angeles neighborhood is made up of a population with more than a quarter below the poverty line and just over half holding a high school diploma. Generations of his family have dedicated themselves to the advancement of the community, from his great-grandfather Ted Watkins who started the Watts Labor Community Action Committee to his own parents who instilled values ​​of support and cooperation in Watkins. From the earliest age.

Watkins wants to help the community gain financial literacy and educational opportunities. She wants to inspire other young girls to persevere in diversity. She wants to bring Fortune 500 companies to the area. Watkins isn’t waiting until after graduation to get to work, slyly saying to “stay tuned” for what’s next.

“My goal is to inspire my community and become a frontier for women’s basketball,” she said. “We don’t have as many resources as others, so just talk and be part of this women’s basketball story.”

Her voice shone with excitement as she spoke of working with youth basketball camps each summer.

“It’s so great to be around young players and see how passionate they already are. It’s amazing,” she said. “It inspires me to get bigger.”

Her tone brightened more thinking about those moments than talking about her own accomplishments. More than his goals of winning high school championships and awards such as Gatorade and MaxPreps Player of the Year. She expressed her long-term ambitions in reverse chronological order — Hall of Fame, WNBA player, college player of the year, All-American, championships. It hasn’t started cutting colleges yet, and its long list of college offerings is basically a who’s-who of the best programs. Name a team, and they’re probably interested in the five-star athlete.

“To sum it up, just being the best version of myself, I can be on and off the pitch,” she said. Watkins paused, chuckled, took another beat trying to find the right words so as not to sound immodest, then added, “Becoming an icon, I guess.”

“Her ability to be someone that young women and young men look up to as a player… She just has that this“, said Paul. “She approaches things in the right way, she is very astute and very understanding of her surroundings at a very young age. I’ve been there before, so I know what it’s like. I am excited for what lies ahead.

Watkins joins Klutch at a pivotal time for college sports and women’s basketball. The WNBA has begun to blossom, the most recent evidence being a $75 million capital raise. College athletes are beginning to take advantage of NIL offerings, and Watkins is poised to become the icon she aspires to be as she pushes the sport forward.

“She’s still working on improving her IQ and basketball skills, so she’s still moving in that space. She’s still striving to be a good person and to understand what it’s like to have morals, values ​​and purpose in life, so she’s going to grow in that space as well,” said her mother, Sari Watkins. “She knows how to put her goals into perspective and pursue them. I think it’s kind of already written by God, to be honest, and all she has to do is keep staying the course and working her cock and whatever she works so hard for, she’s gonna get it.

“Juju always thinks about the box, so she never tries to do something that is in the norm. She’s always going to take a different approach,” said her father, Robert Watkins. “She’s always going to think, how can I do this to change the game to a different level? I think that’s what it takes to grow the women’s game and I think that’s why she has an impact and is so loved by the NBA and the WNBA.

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