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Angel Reese Is Entering the WNBA Draft

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Albany Regional
Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Angel Reese has some exciting post-grad plans: She’d like to go pro. In an interview with Vogue on Wednesday, the LSU star revealed that she’ll be entering the WNBA Draft. “I’ve done everything I wanted to do in college,” said Reese, who is a college junior but has completed her fourth year of college athletics. “I’ve won a national championship, I’ve gotten Player of the Year, I’ve been an All-American. My ultimate goal is to go pro — and to be one of the greatest basketball players to play, ever. I feel like I’m ready.”

On Monday night, Reese played her final game with LSU in the Elite Eight Round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament; Iowa won 94-87 in what ESPN called the most-watched women’s basketball game in history. And Reese is no stranger to the hype. After transferring from the University of Maryland to LSU in 2022 to play under coach Kim Mulkey, she rose to prominence after leading the Tigers to a 102-85 victory against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 2023 NCAA finals, where she was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and helped earn the school its first national championship title.

At last year’s championships, Reese went viral on social media for pointing at her ring finger and making John Cena’s infamous “You can’t see me” gesture in the direction of fellow basketball phenom Caitlin Clark. Some viewers called Reese “classless” despite the fact that Clark, who is white, was celebrated for the same move days prior. While both Reese and Clark dispelled rumors of a beef between them, the controversy highlighted the double standards Black women athletes are held to in sports. (This week, an L.A. Times writer apologized for a racist column comparing the UCLA women’s team to “milk and cookies” while calling LSU’s predominantly Black team “basketball villains” and “dirty debutantes.” )

Speaking with Vogue after her and Clark’s long-awaited rematch this week, Reese acknowledged that the decision to go pro means potentially leaving behind her Baton Rouge fan base for an organization with fewer resources for athletes and a heightened sense of competition. There are only 144 spots across the WNBA’s 12 teams, and only 36 new athletes get drafted into the league each season. Nevertheless, it sounds like Reese is up for the challenge. “I want to be a rookie again,” she told Vogue. “I”ll be working with grown women … women that have kids, women that have a family to feed. I’m going to have to work my butt off every single day and grind. And who wouldn’t want that? I don’t want anything in my life to be easy.” I, for one, am buckling up for Draft Day on April 15.

Angel Reese Is Entering the WNBA Draft