Emotional angel Reese said through tears: “I’ve been through a lot. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve been attacked so many times… since winning the NCAA title in 2023

Angel Reese speaks to the media after LSU's defeat against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Angel Reese speaks to the media after LSU’s defeat against the Iowa Hawkeyes
 

LSU Tigers star Angel Reese said that she has been attacked “so many times” over the past year as her team bowed out of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament on Monday.

Reese and LSU lost 94-87 in the Elite Eight against a Caitlin Clark-inspired Iowa – a much-anticipated repeat of last season’s title game.

After what could have been the final game of her college career, a tearful Reese spoke about what she has endured since winning the 2023 NCAA title, saying: “I’ve been through so much. I’ve seen so much. I’ve been attacked so many times. Death threats. I’ve been sexualized. I’ve been threatened.

“I’ve been 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.”

LSU star forward Angel Reese after the Tigers’ 94-87 loss to Iowa in the Elite Eight

CNN has contacted LSU to offer the university the opportunity to comment.

Reese added that she hasn’t been happy since winning last year’s title – LSU’s first NCAA women’s basketball championship – but still “wouldn’t change anything.”

During last year’s title game, the 21-year-old approached Clark and made a “you can’t see me” gesture – popularized by WWE star John Cena – before pointing to her finger in an apparent reference to her soon-to-be-acquired championship ring.

That was one of the most talked about moments from what turned out to be the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history, and much was made of the rivalry between the two players before Monday’s rematch.

Reese shoots against Iowa in the Elite Eight.
Reese shoots against Iowa in the Elite Eight.

Reese had said that she had been cast in the “villain role” up against Clark, though added that the pair “don’t hate each other” and are simply “super competitive” on the basketball court.

They showed their respect for one another after the game, each telling the other to keep being a great player.

Clark, the top scorer in Division I history for women and men, had 41 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists against LSU and went 9-of-20 from three-point range, while Reese had 17 points and 20 rebounds, her 10th consecutive double-double in the NCAA tournament.

It’s unclear whether Reese will return to LSU or declare for this month’s WNBA draft, for which she is a projected first-round pick.

In her post-game press conference, Reese reflected on her turbulent past year, saying: “I don’t really get to stand up for myself. I have great teammates. I have a great support system. I’ve got my hometown. I’ve got my family that stands up for me.

“I don’t really get to speak out on things just because I try to ignore and I just try to stand strong … I would still sit here and say, ‘I’m unapologetically me.’ I’m going to always leave that mark and be who I am and stand on that.

“The little girls that look up to me, hopefully, I give them some type of inspiration … Keep being who you are.”

Clark had a game-high 41 points against LSU as Iowa reached the Final Four of the NCAA women's tournament.

Clark had a game-high 41 points against LSU as Iowa reached the Final Four of the NCAA women’s tournament

Reese’s LSU teammates also paid tribute to her influence on the team.

“Everybody can have their opinion on Angel Reese, but y’all don’t know her,” said Flau’jae Johnson. “Y’all don’t know Angel Reese. I know Angel Reese.

“I know the real Angel Reese, and the person I see every day is a strong person, is a caring and loving person … Just to see how the media ridicule her – we went through our problems, but this is my sister right here.”

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