Angel Reese ‘Bayou Barbie’ nickname, explained: How LSU basketball star earned unique moniker

Angel Reese ‘Bayou Barbie’ nickname, explained: How LSU basketball star earned unique moniker


LSU women’s basketball star Angel Reese has one of the best nicknames in any sport: “Bayou Barbie.”

The 6-foot-3 star forward is more than living up to that nickname in 2023-24, a year after she helped the Tigers win their first national championship under Kim Mulkey.

She’s averaging 19.1 points, 13.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for LSU, who is 28-5 this season, including 13-3 in SEC play.

Indeed, Reese has played a huge role in why the Tigers are slated as the No. 3 seed in the Albany Regional 2 of the Women’s NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers will start their NCAA Tournament championship repeat bid against No. 14 seed Rice at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in the first round of March Madness.

Reese, who also is expected to be one of the top picks in the 2024 WNBA Draft, scored 15 points and added 13 rebounds in a 79-72 loss to top-ranked South Carolina in the SEC championship game.

Here’s a look as to how Reese earned her nickname:

Angel Reese ‘Bayou Barbie’ nickname, explained

Reese started her college career at Maryland, where she played from 2020-22. She transferred to the Tigers ahead of the 2022-23 season and averaged 23 points and 15.4 rebounds per game in her first season with LSU.

The nickname emerged after she transferred to LSU, and is related to the location of the school: Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Reese’s appearance on the court — with eyelash extensions and long pink nails — also contributed to the name, which she said came from a Tigers fan.

“The name Bayou Barbie came from a fan in Baton Rouge. She just called me the Bayou Barbie, and my mom heard it and we just ran with it,” Reese told Sports Illustrated in May 2023.

“I mean, it kind of fits me. I’m in Baton Rouge, which is the bayou, and then the Barbie part is my nails, lashes, hair [which are] always done on the court, so yeah, it went together.”

Angel Reese’s ‘Bayou Barbie’ patent denied

Reese filed for a trademark on the “Bayou Barbie” nickname during her junior season. Per a February report from, The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request in November.

The deadline for the 90-day appeal window to submit arguments to her case passed on Feb. 21.

The toy company Mattel owns the trademark to Barbie and, according to her NIL agent Darren Heitner, Reese did not want to get into a major legal battle with the toy company.

“We discussed internally and determined that it was in Angel’s best interest to not unnecessarily instigate Mattel,” Heitner, who filed the trademark paperwork on Reese’s behalf, told On3.

“While initially it seemed worthy to obtain the registration, Angel has pivoted away from selling Bayou Barbie merchandise. As such, the appropriate business decision was made to simply let the application abandon.”

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