Angel Reese Announces She’s Leaving LSU and Entering WNBA Draft

Angel Reese is looking to take her game to the next level. With Louisiana State University eliminated from the women’s NCAA Tournament, the star forward has announced she will officially enter the WNBA draft. Reese shared the big news in an interview with Vogue on Wednesday. 

“I’ve done everything I wanted to in college,” the 21-year-old tells the outlet. “I’ve won a national championship, I’ve gotten [Southeastern Conference] Player of the Year, I’ve been an All-American. My ultimate goal is to be a pro — and to be one of the greatest basketball players to play, ever. I feel like I’m ready.”

Reese and the LSU Tigers’ season ended on Monday night with a 94-87 loss to Iowa in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament’s Elite Eight. 

The junior was a first-team All-American this season, averaging 18.6 points and 13.4 rebounds per game, and was named SEC Player of the Year, in addition to three All-American selections. 

Reese became a national sensation thanks to her Bayou Barbie persona, but her bold nature led to what some have seen as racialized backlash from the public

During an emotional post-game press conference on Monday, Reese reflected on the tumultuous two seasons she’s had with LSU. “I don’t really get to stand up for myself. I mean, I have great teammates, I have a great support system, I got my hometown, I got my family that stands up for me,” she said. “I don’t really get to speak out on things just because I just try to ignore. I just try to stand strong.”

“I’ve been through so much, I’ve seen so much. I’ve been attacked so many times,” Reese added. “Death threats, I’ve been sexualized, I’ve been threatened — so many things, and I’ve stood strong every single time.”

“I haven’t known a day of peace since [the national championship]. And it sucks,” she candidly shared. “But I still wouldn’t change. I wouldn’t change anything.”

Now, Reese is looking to make her mark on a larger playing field. The basketball star also shared a video on her Instagram page announcing her plans to enter the April 15 draft and expressing her gratitude to her LSU teammates.

“Thank you for loving and supporting me in everything that I do, for standing by me at my lowest, for making every second of the past four years a dream come true,” Reese says in the video montage of her journey so far. “I’m leaving college with everything that I’ve ever wanted: a degree, a national championship, and this platform I could have never imagined. This is for the girls that look like me, that’s gonna speak up for what they believe in, is unapologetically you.”

She concludes with, “This was a difficult decision but I trust the next chapter because I know the author.”

“Grateful for these last four years and excited for this next chapter,” she captioned the post, adding the hashtag “#BAYOUBARBIEOUT.” 

Reese is currently projected as the No. 8 overall pick to the Chicago Sky in CBS Sports’ latest mock draft


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