After Jill Biden Brouhaha, LSU's Reese Rethinks White House Visit

NCAA women's basketball champ says she's a 'team player,' will go to DC
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2023 11:34 AM CDT
LSU's Reese: OK, I'll Go to the White House
One of the gestures that put Angel Reese in hot water.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Pretty much nobody applauded Jill Biden's idea to host both the winning team and the losing team of this year's NCAA women's basketball championship at the White House—including the star player for Iowa, the team that lost to LSU. On Tuesday, Biden's press secretary walked back the joint invite, noting that the first lady had "intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House." That same day, LSU star Angel Reese, who found herself embroiled in controversy after trash-talking her opponents during the final game, appeared on the Paper Route podcast, seeming somewhat reluctant to take Biden up on her offer.

"I don't accept [Biden's] apology because of, you said what you said. I said what I said," Reese told hosts Brandon Marshall and Ashley Nicole Moss, per the Athletic. "And like, you can't go back on certain things that you say." Reese referenced Biden initially saying she wanted both teams to be honored due to "sportsmanship." Reese noted of the rival Hawkeyes team: "They can have that spotlight" at the White House. "We"ll go to the Obamas. We'll see Michelle. We'll see Barack." Reese also revealed during the podcast that her team declined a pep talk from Biden before the championship game on Sunday. "We didn't want her coming into the locker room," Reese said, citing the fact that Biden's husband, President Biden, had dismissed the Tigers in his pre-tournament bracket.

It now appears Reese has changed her mind a bit since that chat. On Thursday, LSU said it had accepted an official invitation from President Biden to visit the White House, and on Friday, Reese said that even though she'd been "hurt" by the first lady's comments, she'd be there with her team, per ESPN. "You don't get that experience [to go to the White House] ever, and I know my team probably wants to go for sure and my coaches are supportive of that, so I'm going to do what's best for the team, and we've decided we're going to go," she said on the SportsCenter program, noting that she's the team's captain. "I'm a team player. I'm going to do what's best for the team." An LSU spokesperson says there's not yet a date for that visit. (More women's college basketball stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.