Emotional Angel Reese now must quickly decide whether to stay at LSU or turn pro after stinging loss


ALBANY, N.Y. — Angel Reese has about 48 hours to make a major life decision while processing a stinging loss in her anticipated showdown against Caitlin Clark in the NCAA Tournament, a setback that left the LSU forward in tears while reflecting on the past year since winning the women’s basketball championship.

The 6-foot-3 Reese was emotional after LSU’s 94-85 loss to Iowa in the Elite Eight on Monday night. She has not given any indication whether she may forgo her final season of college eligibility or enter the WNBA Draft, which is on April 15.

“I’ve been through so much,” the 21-year-old said Monday night as tears ran down her face. “I’ve seen so much. I’ve been attacked so many times, death threats, I’ve been sexualized, I’ve been threatened, I’ve been so many things, and I’ve stood strong every single time.

“I just try to stand strong for my teammates because I don’t want them to see me down and not be there for them. I’m still a human. All this has happened since I won the national championship. I haven’t had peace since then.”

Reese burst onto the scene during LSU’s championship run last year as an extremely talented basketball player who was also an unapologetic trash-talker. Since winning the title, Reese said there has been increased scrutiny of her — on and off the court.

Her teammates defended her leadership and what she’s been through, including time earlier this season when she stepped away from the Tigers right before Thanksgiving to take a self-described mental health break.

“Everybody can have their opinion on Angel Reese, but y’all don’t know her,” Flau’jae Johnson said. “I know the real Angel Reese, and the person I see every day is a strong person, is a caring, loving person. But the crown she wears is heavy. She’s the type of teammate that’s going to make you believe in yourself.”

Players not competing in the Elite Eight had until Monday to renounce their remaining eligibility. Players like Reese, who were competing in the Elite Eight or beyond, have about 48 hours after their final game to make their decision. That has been in place for years.

If this was Reese’s final college game, she put forth a stellar effort in trying to help LSU overcome Clark and Iowa. She injured her ankle in the second quarter and still finished with 17 points and 20 rebounds before fouling out in the final two minutes of the game.

As far as her future plans, she said, “I’ll make a decision when I’m ready.”

Reese has likely been weighing the pros and cons of turning pro for some time, and that surely includes evaluating the finances.

Reese is one of the top NIL earners in college with a valuation of $1.8 million according to On3.com. Many of those deals would turn to endorsements when she joins the WNBA.

It’s not a lot of time for anyone to have make a major life decision, but Reese is on the clock.

___

AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-womens-bracket/ and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top