LSU's Angel Reese Tells of a Miserable Year Since Their Win

NCAA basketball star says she hasn't been happy since becoming a national champion
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2024 10:00 AM CDT
LSU's Angel Reese Opens Up on All the Hate
LSU forward Angel Reese (10) reacts during the fourth quarter of an Elite Eight round college basketball game against Iowa during the NCAA Tournament, Monday, April 1, 2024, in Albany, NY.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

LSU women's basketball forward Angel Reese would've liked a repeat of last year's NCAA basketball title, but not of the abuse she suffered in the aftermath of that historic win. After her team was eliminated by Caitlin Clark and Iowa from the Elite Eight in a rematch of the 2023 title game on Monday, Reese told reporters she hadn't been happy for a year. "I've been attacked so many times. Death threats. I've been sexualized. I've been threatened," said the 21-year-old, wiping away tears, per CNN. The LSU star became a "household name" after leading her team to victory in the 2023 tournament, after which she clashed with first lady Jill Biden and faced "sexist and racist" criticism for gestures directed at Clark, per the Guardian.

Reese, who played with a sprained ankle on Monday, said she was cast in the "villain role" and "I don't really get to stand up for myself," per CNN. "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," she said, per the Guardian. "It sucks." But "the little girls that look up to me, hopefully, I give them some type of inspiration" to "keep being who you are." Teammate Flau'jae Johnson also noted "how the media ridicule" Reese. But "the person I see every day is a strong person, is a caring and loving person," she said, per CNN.

At USA Today, columnist Nancy Armour urges us all to think about why a young woman is "getting death threats and hate simply for being herself." "Because she's Black? A woman? Both? Is it because she's confident and not afraid to show it? Or that she knows her worth and refuses to accept anything less than it?" Ultimately, Reese was marred for "doing what basketball players, male and female, have been doing since the game began. Doing what Clark herself had done," Armour notes. Reese is a projected first-round pick in the upcoming WNBA draft, though it's unclear whether she'll participate, per CNN. (Utah's women's basketball team claims to have suffered "hate crimes" at this year's tournament.)

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