A "Pitbull" will soon be on the loose in Hollywood.
Malia Samuels, the state of Washington's top class-of-2023 girls basketball recruit at Garfield High School, ended her busy summer by choosing a new college home - USC.
She made the announcement Friday afternoon in a near-2-minute commitment video on her social-media platforms.
"It was just one of those situations - you know, you know," Samuels said. "I've always gotten a good vibe from them."
Known for her tireless defense, court vision and one-versus-one breakdown ability, the four-star point guard is ranked as the No. 58 overall player in the class, according to ESPN.com. She has 21 NCAA DIvision I offers.
After Samuels led Garfield to the Class 3A title in March, the Trojans entered the recruiting picture, tabbing her as their top ball-handing guard target for 2023.
And after USC hired Beth Burns, the former defensive mastermind at Louisville, to become its associated head coach under Lindsay Gottlieb in June, suddenly the Trojans shot to the top of Samuels' list.
On an unofficial visit to USC in July, Samuels gave the coaching staff a verbal commitment - and sat on that decision until she revealed it Friday.
"Everything was perfect timing," she said.
Samuels burst onto the high school scene in 2019 when she was the Metro League player of the year for Eastside Catholic, leading the Crusaders' undefeated bid all the way to the Class 3A semifinals, losing to Lake Washington.
She transferred to Garfield between after the 2021 spring COVID-10 season, and teamed up with 2024 national recruit Katie Fiso to bring the Bulldogs home a 3A championship last March, defeating Lake Washington in the state finals. She was named the tournament most valuable player, too.
Samuels was selected as SBLive WA's 3A state player of the year for 2021-22, and a part of the all-classification, all-state first team, averaging 16.5 points, 6.3 assists, 6.1 steals and 3.4 rebounds playing both guard positions.