Angel Reese foregoes final year at LSU for WNBA Draft after Elite Eight loss

LSU v Iowa
LSU v Iowa / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

After a tough 94-87 Elite Eight loss to Iowa less than two days ago, LSU Tigers basketball star Angel Reese has declared for the 2024 WNBA Draft, she announced via Vogue on Wednesday afternoon.

“I’ve done everything I wanted to in college,” Reese told Vogue.“I’ve won a national championship, I’ve gotten [Southeastern Conference] Player of the Year, 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 propelled the Lady Tigers to a national title last year and instantly rose to fame. In her senior year, she led them to the Elite 8 for the second consecutive year, with impressive averages of 18.6 points and 13.4 rebounds per game. Despite having another year of college eligibility, Reese decided to go pro.

“I want to start at the bottom again,” she told Vogue. “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.”

Angel Reese declares for 2024 WNBA Draft, foregoing final season at LSU

Reese will end her college career with many accomplishments, prominently setting the NCAA record for double-doubles in a season. She was also named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2023, and garnered AP and USBWA All-American honors. Additionally, Reese has been named First Team All-SEC in 2023 and First Team All-Big Ten in 2022.

‘People are going to doubt me thinking I got too Hollywood, I got too big-headed,’” she told Vogue. “But I said I was going to be SEC Player of the Year, and I was SEC Player of the Year.”

After enduring a foot injury during her initial seasons at the University of Maryland, Reese transferred to LSU to play under the guidance of renowned coach Kim Mulkey. With a fair share of ups and downs in her senior year including speculations by the media, trolling on social media, and multiple high-profile deals, Reese said in a press conference after LSU’s loss to Iowa that she has had a tough time since she won the national title last year.

"I’ve been through so much,” Reese said. “I’ve seen so much. I’ve been attacked so many times—death threats. I’ve been sexualized. I’ve been threatened. There are so many things and I’ve stood strong every single time. I just try to stand strong for my teammates because I don’t want them to see me down and not be there for them. I’m still a human. All of this has happened since I won the national championship. I said the other day I haven’t (been) happy since then.”

Reese's journey to the professional ranks has been highly anticipated, with projections placing her as a consensus first-round pick. Scheduled to take place on Monday, April 15 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City, the WNBA Draft will be broadcast on ESPN at 6 p.m ET.