Reese will join teammates for White House visit
UPDATE: The White House released a statement Friday afternoon saying that President Biden formally invited the Tigers for a visit to celebrate their win. The president also called Angel Reese personally to congratulate her on the win.
"This afternoon, the President spoke to LSU Tigers Women’s Basketball Head Coach Kim Mulkey and left a message for UConn Huskies Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dan Hurley to congratulate them on their respective championship victories and invite them to the White House. No specific dates for these visits have been set. The President also called LSU Tigers player Angel Reese to congratulate her on LSU’s historic season and championship win."
BATON ROUGE - LSU star Angel Reese said she will visit the White House with her LSU team, just days after saying that she wouldn’t.
“Just going back on it, you don’t get that experience (to visit the White House) ever,” Reese said in an interview with ESPN on Friday.
“I know my team probably wants to go for sure, and my coaches are supportive of that, so I’m going to do what’s best for the team. And if they would like to go, we decide we’re going to go, then we’re going to go.”
Reese said on Wednesday that neither she, nor her team, would be visiting the White House after the Tigers defeated the University of Iowa Hawkeyes 102-85 to win their first NCAA women’s basketball national championship on Sunday.
Traditionally, the national champions would be invited to the White House.
But after comments from first lady Jill Biden suggesting that Iowa be invited as well before appearing to walk that back, Reese told “I AM ATHLETE” podcast hosts Brandon Marshall and Ashley Nicole Moss: “I don’t accept the apology because you said what you said … You can’t go back on certain things that you say … They can have that spotlight. We’ll go to the Obamas.’ We’ll go see Michelle. We’ll see Barack.”
“In the beginning, we were hurt,” Reese said. “It was emotional for us because we know how hard we worked all year for everything. Just being able to see that, that hurt us in the moment.”
Following Sunday’s national championship victory, LSU head coach head coach Kim Mulkey said she would go to the White House if the team was invited.
On Wednesday, the school’s athletics department said they would “certainly accept an invitation.”
Speaking on Monday, Biden congratulated both teams on their performance in Sunday’s national championship game, as well as specifically highlighting Iowa’s sportsmanship.
“Last night, I attended the NCAA women’s basketball championship,” said Biden, while speaking at an event at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.
“So I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House, we always do. So, we hope LSU will come but, you know, I’m going to tell Joe [Biden] I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game.”
Reese, a 20-year-old forward, responded to Biden’s comments, calling them “A JOKE” on Monday, and on an Instagram post from “The Shade Room,” the recently crowned NCAA champion commented: “WE NOT COMING. period.”
By Tuesday, Biden appeared to walk back the comments, with first lady press secretary Vanessa Valdivia saying in a tweet that they “were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House.”
President Biden had previously said that LSU would be invited to the White House, along with NCAA men’s champions, the University of Connecticut.
Reese’s teammate Alex Morris took to Twitter to ask Michelle Obama whether her team could celebrate their win at their house, after Barack tweeted his congratulations to the team.
A spokesperson for the Obamas declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark said on Tuesday that Iowa shouldn’t be invited to White House.
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