Angel Reese Is Heading to the WNBA – but She Might Be Hanging Up Her Crown

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Angel Reese is a star in every sense of the word. Despite Louisiana State’s loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Final Four of March Madness, Reese ended her collegiate career on a high, walking away with a host of awards and broken records, as well as an entry into the WNBA.

On April 15, Reese, more affectionately known by fans as the “Bayou Barbie,” will be selected by one of the league’s 12 teams alongside some of her former NCAA competitors turned draftees, including Caitlin Clark, Kamilla Cardoso, and Aliyah Edwards. PS caught up with the draft pick ahead of the big night, where Reese opened up about her collegiate legacy, as well as some of the goals she has for the W.

A Look At Angel Reese’s Legacy

While at LSU, the forward became known for her bold gameplay on the court, which often includes unapologetic trash talk, fresh lashes, and edges laid to the gods. That likely won’t change. It’s how she earned the nickname “Bayou Barbie” and it’s served as a representation that women athletes — and more specifically Black women athletes — can be exactly who they are in the world of sport.

Reese’s notorious crown, however, might not make it to the league. You’ve likely spotted the jeweled tiara placed on Reese’s head during LSU’s pregame ritual. Throughout her career, it’s symbolized that Reese is “the queen,” LSU’s Amani Bartlett (bestower of the crown), told the Associated Press. But it appears the athlete is approaching her next move with a fresh start mindset, potentially leaving the crown behind.

“I don’t know if we’ll see [the crown] in the WNBA,” Reese tells PS while working a predraft shift at Raising Cane’s in Manhattan. “That was something that I did at LSU and I want to just turn over a new page and start a new chapter.”

That said, there will always be a figurative crown on her head — and it’s a heavy one, Reese admits. The 21-year-old has faced relentless attacks from the public throughout her collegiate career, often being pitted against Caitlin Clark and villanized for the same gameplay that’s made her such a formidable player. “I’ve been through so much. I’ve seen so much. I’ve been attacked so many times. Death threats. I’ve been sexualized. I’ve been threatened,” Reese said in a post-game interview after LSU’s loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes during the NCAA tournament.

What You Can Expect From Angel Reese in the WNBA

As Reese enters the WNBA, she’s hoping for a clean slate and to focus on growing women’s sports alongside players like Clark. For context, the NCAA women’s championship final raked in 18.7 million viewers, more than any college or professional basketball game since 2019, per ESPN.

“It’s crazy how the game’s going right now and being able to surpass the men . . . it’s exciting and I think our games are so much more interesting right now,” Reese says. “So many people are tuning in and watching us and I love it.”

Now, Reese is eager to see how the enthusiasm translates to the WNBA. “Being able to take this to the W is where you want to do it at and I think they deserve it, especially the vets — they’ve done a great job and laid the ground for us.”

Alexis Jones is the senior health editor at POPSUGAR. Her areas of expertise include women’s health, mental health, racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare, diversity in wellness, and chronic conditions. Prior to joining POPSUGAR, she was the senior editor at Health magazine. Her other bylines can be found at Women’s Health, Prevention, Marie Claire, and more.

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