WNBA Draft: Angel Reese drafted 7th overall by Sky

ALBANY, NEW YORK - MARCH 30: Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Tigers reacts in a game against the UCLA Bruins during the first half in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at MVP Arena on March 30, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Angel Reese is a pro. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Bayou Barbie is beginning a new chapter in Chicago.

After an illustrious collegiate career at LSU, Angel Reese was selected by the Chicago Sky with the seventh pick of the 2024 WNBA Draft on Monday.

Reese will join former SEC rival Kamilla Cardoso in Chicago. The Sky selected the South Carolina center with the third pick in the draft.

The milestone moment comes on the heels of another accomplished season for Reese, who was named SEC Player of the Year after averaging 19.1 points and 13 rebounds in the regular season. It was her second straight season leading the conference in scoring and rebounding. Reese joined the likes of Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles as the third LSU product to win the award.

She’s in great company, as Fowles and Augustus went on to have historic WNBA careers. Fowles played for the Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx, becoming a four-time Defensive Player of the Year and the 2017 MVP. Augustus, the 2006 WNBA Rookie of the Year, won four WNBA championships with the Lynx and retired with the Los Angeles Sparks.

When asked how Reese will fare in the WNBA, ESPN analyst Andraya Carter made one thing clear: "Rebounding translates." Reese’s 441 total boards rank seventh in LSU history. She recorded 61 double-doubles for the Tigers in just two seasons after transferring from Maryland. Only Fowles had more for the Tigers.

Reese will now prepare for her first professional season just two weeks after she and LSU lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Elite Eight. That matchup, which featured an epic showing from Caitlin Clark, was one of multiple women’s tournament games viewed by a historically large audience. It broke a viewership record set with LSU’s national title win over Iowa in 2023, which saw Reese become the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Reese and Clark have often been compared to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson of the NBA. For what it’s worth, the rivalries began at similar points in the histories of their respective leagues.

Reese brought the flair even before last year’s tourney, going viral when she made a gnarly block while holding her own shoe during a 30-point performance over Arkansas in January 2023. According to NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, Reese is "probably the greatest athlete ever to come out of LSU sports.” She was a top NIL earner in college, boasting a valuation of $1.8 million.

That said, she’s bracing for a challenge in the pros. She declared for the WNBA Draft via Vogue, saying that she’s excited about the new level of competition.

“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.”

The Sky couldn’t ask for a better mentality.