Randallstown’s Angel Reese selected No. 7 overall by Chicago Sky in 2024 WNBA draft

From Randallstown to College Park to Baton Rouge, Angel Reese’s travels will now take her to Chicago.

Reese, the 6-foot-3 power forward who will celebrate her 22nd birthday on May 6, was selected seventh overall by the Chicago Sky in Monday night’s WNBA draft. She had spent the past two seasons playing for LSU after transferring from Maryland.

Reese, who racked up 61 double-doubles in 67 career games with the Tigers, averaged 20.9 points and 14.4 rebounds. She joins a Sky franchise that recently traded its lone All-Star from last season, shooting guard Kahleah Cooper, to the Phoenix Mercury for the No. 3 pick, which the organization used on 6-7 center Kamilla Cardoso, who recently contributed to South Carolina’s second NCAA championship in the three years.

“I’m just so excited,” Reese said on ESPN’s broadcast of the WNBA draft. “I get to play with Kamila. I’ve been playing against her since high school. So I’m excited to play with Kamila. And T-Spoon [coach Teresa Weatherspoon] is amazing. She’s done some great things, and I’m excited to be coached by her.”

Reese has enjoyed a highly decorated career. At St. Frances, she was a four-year varsity starter and a four-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro choice. She was The Sun’s Player of the Year in her junior and senior years in 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively.

A five-star recruit and a McDonald’s All American, Reese committed to the Terps in November of her senior year. In two seasons in College Park, she averaged 15.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks in 47 games, including 35 starts.

As a sophomore in 2021-22, Reese amassed 17.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game to become the first player in program history to average a double-double since former center Angie Scott in 1975. Reese contributed to the program reaching the Sweet 16 in both years she was there.

On April 5, 2022, Reese entered the transfer portal as part of a mass exodus from Maryland. After visiting LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee, she picked the Tigers, who announced her arrival on May 6.

In her first season there, Reese averaged 23.0 points, 15.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks per game and set an NCAA single-season record with 34 double-doubles en route to being voted a unanimous first-team All-American. With Reese anchoring the frontcourt, No. 3 seed LSU marched through the NCAA Tournament and routed No. 2 seed Iowa, 102-85, for the school’s first national championship.

This past winter was more tumultuous. Reese was sidelined by coach Kim Mulkey for four consecutive games. Mulkey declined to specify the rationale behind her decision except to allude to issues in the locker room.

Reese, however, didn’t need much time to find her form, and she finished the season averaging 18.6 points, 13.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. The No. 3 seed Tigers reached the Elite Eight, but fell to No. 1 seed Iowa, 94-87, in a highly publicized rematch of the 2023 title game pitting Reese against Hawkeyes superstar Caitlin Clark.

In Chicago, Reese joins a team helmed by Weatherspoon that captured the 2021 WNBA title but is devoid of much talent or star power. Guard Marina Mabrey is the only player assured of guaranteed money after the upcoming season, and she is the only returning player to average double digits in points a year ago (15.0).

Asked what she brings to the team, Reese replied, “Just coming in and being competitive and having an open mind every day. I just want to work, and I’m just excited to learn from my vets.”

The Sky went 18-22 and finished eighth in the standings last season. They finished with a .500 or worse record for the second time in the last three years and were sixth or worse in the WNBA standings in three of the last four seasons.

But Chicago must think that Reese can be a valuable member of its rebuild. The franchise traded 6-3 forward Sika Kone, the eighth overall pick in 2024 and a second-round choice in 2025 and swapped first-round selections in the 2026 WNBA draft with the Minnesota Lynx for 6-3 center Nikolina Milic and the opportunity to grab Reese at No. 7.

Although Reese is known as “Baltimore Barbie” or “Bayou Barbie,” ESPN analyst and former Tennessee guard Andraya Carter said she often used the term “relentless” to describe Reese.

“When it comes to passion and energy and love for the game, Angel is at the top-tier level,” Carter said on the broadcast. “She plays so hard. She has such a high motor. Those are the things that got here here. But her work ethic and the time she has committed already to putting into her game will keep her in the league.”

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Added fellow analyst and former UConn center Rebecca Lobo: “She calls herself a dog, and that’s certainly the type of player Teresa Weatherspoon can build around. She’s strong, explosive, and an elite rebounder, especially when she gets around the offensive glass. This is a great fit for Angel Reese because this is also a Chicago team that can potentially keep both of their first-round picks.”

Reese is part of a draft class — headed by former Iowa shooting guard Caitlin Clark, who was the first overall pick by the Indiana Fever — that lifted women’s basketball in popularity and opened doors for greater name, image and likeness opportunities. Reese, who was accompanied by her mother, also named Angel Reese, her brother, Maryland junior power forward Julian, and LSU coach Kim Mulkey, became emotional when discussing her impact on fans and her journey to the WNBA.

“A kid from Baltimore is not supposed to be here,” she said. “I’m just happy. My mom is here, and my brother is here, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

This story might be updated.