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LSU star Angel Reese officially declares for WNBA draft

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LSU star forward Angel Reese announced Wednesday that she is declaring for the 2024 WNBA draft.

Reese will enter the pros as one of the sport’s biggest names. She was catapulted into national fame last year as she propelled LSU to the program’s first national title and earned Final Four Most Outstanding Player. The Tigers followed up that finish this year with a run to the Elite Eight before falling to Iowa on Monday.

“I’ve done everything I wanted to in college,” Reese told Vogue about her decision. “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 was named SEC Player of the Year last month and was a unanimous first-team All-American last season, when she set an NCAA record for single-season double-doubles with 34.

“Angel transferred to LSU after my first season in Baton Rouge and she helped transform our program,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said in a statement. “When she came here, she said she wanted to be here for two seasons and she has lived up to that. What a remarkable two years it has been. We are all indebted to Angel Reese for the contributions she has given to this program, helping us win our first National Championship, and the contributions she made on our university as a whole. She not only helped grow our program but had an impact on growing the game of women’s basketball across the country. We wish her good luck as she moves to the WNBA and look forward to see all that she accomplishes. We will miss her but will always cherish the two year’s we got to spend with her. Forever LSU.”

After spending her first two seasons at Maryland, her hometown school, Reese transferred to LSU and established herself as one of the top players in the country. In 69 career games in Baton Rouge, she averaged 20.9 points, 14.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while compiling 61 double-doubles in all — second in school history only to legend Sylvia Fowles.

This season, 6-foot-3 Reese was named a second-team All-American by The Associated Press and a first-team All-American by the USBWA while earning a spot on the Wooden All-American team.

“I want to start at the bottom again,” Reese 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.”

Off the court, Reese — known as the “Bayou Barbie” — became one of the faces of new rules that allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness. She boasts deals with Reebok, Beats by Dre, Goldman Sachs and others.

Reese is expected to be a first-round pick and is projected in ESPN’s latest mock draft to be chosen No. 7 by the Minnesota Lynx.

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