LSU Star Angel Reese Declares For WNBA Draft, Ready To Excel At The Professional Level

LSU Star Angel Reese Declares For WNBA Draft, Ready To Excel At The Professional Level | Sarah Stier/Getty Images
LSU Star Angel Reese Declares For WNBA Draft, Ready To Excel At The Professional Level | Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Angel Reese announced on Wednesday that she would take her talents to the WNBA. In an interview with Vogue, the 21-year-old expressed her readiness for a challenge after crossing off her goals at LSU. 

“I’ve done everything I wanted to in college,” Reese said. “I’ve won a national championship, I’ve gotten [Southeastern Conference] Player of the Year, and I’ve been an All-American. My ultimate goal is to be a pro. And to be one of the greatest basketball players to play ever. I feel like I’m ready.”

Reese and the LSU Tigers had their hopes of winning consecutive NCAA titles shattered on Monday after losing to Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Elite Eight. It’s worth noting that LSU had previously defeated Iowa in last year’s national championship game.

Reese explained that her decision to go pro was not easy, especially with another year of college eligibility. After considering everything she’s leaving behind, Reese decided to take the leap of faith.

“I want to start at the bottom again,” she said. “I want to be a rookie again and build myself back up; I want to be knocked down and learn and grow at the next level.”

Reese is also very aware of the next level of competition. Becoming a member of one of the twelve WNBA teams is possible, and only 36 upcoming athletes are drafted annually into the league. Under WNBA regulations, players who plan to enter the draft must declare by April 1. College athletes who make it to the Elite Eight or beyond have 48 hours following their last match to relinquish their NCAA eligibility and submit a draft declaration.

Reese was given until Wednesday night to make her future intentions known. Under the COVID-19 waiver, she was able to finish one more season at LSU, but she has decided to take her skills to the WNBA.

“I’ll be working with grown women,” Reese said. “I’ll be working with 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.”

According to Yahoo Sports, Reese averaged 18.6 points and 13.4 rebounds per game while recording 20 double-doubles in 33 games with the LSU Tigers. She added seven more double-doubles in the NCAA tournament, including a 17-point, 20-rebound performance in the loss to Iowa.

In March, LSU’s head coach Kim Mulkey said Reese had “left her mark” on the Tigers’ program no matter what she decided.

“What Angel Reese has done at LSU in two years, we really need to step back and go, ‘Wow,'” Mulkey said. “She won a national championship last year; she’s a celebrity now. And then, to come back this year and get player of the year — she was an All-Defensive player as well — she’s left her mark. Whether she comes back next year or not, that young lady has left her mark on LSU women’s basketball.”

The 2024 WNBA Draft is on April 15.