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Louisiana girls’ basketball players inspired by Angel Reese, women’s basketball breakout year

CENTRAL, La. (BRPROUD) — Women’s basketball has been the talk of sports since the college season started. Louisiana girls’ basketball players have had a chance to soak up the sport’s resurgence since last year’s LSU women’s basketball title run and they continue to be inspired by Angel Reese and others.

Central High School senior Ty’Reona Sibley plans to play for Southeastern Louisiana next year after an impressive high school career. For the last two years, she’s had the opportunity to watch the Lady Tigers and learn from them.

“Just seeing them play the game, work hard and all they were doing, it helped me to keep going and keep pushing,” Sibley said. “I was like, this is what I’ve got to learn. I’ve got to learn this. I’ve got to do this.”

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In many respects, Reese and other big names in women’s college basketball put the sport on the map. The women’s NCAA tournament set viewership records, even outpacing the men’s tournament in some metrics. Local basketball coaches took notice.

“Normally men’s sports, their, the money they bring in is way higher than women’s, and the viewings are much higher,” said Krystal Huggins-Flowers, Central High School girls’ basketball coach.

Huggins-Flowers said Reese and the success of the sport helped inspire her players, who had an impressive season themselves.

“I would send out messages to my girls like, watch the game. Are you watching it? It’s on,” Huggins-Flowers said. “You know, pay attention to Angel Reese. Do you see her passion? Do you see her fight?”

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Reese now prepares for her next chapter in Chicago as a rookie for the WNBA’s Sky. Sibley said the former Lady Tigers’ impact will continue on her own college career and future generations of Louisiana girls’ basketball players.

“If you keep growing and playing how you’re supposed to, you’re going to go everywhere you want to go,” Sibley said.

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