Angel Reese, Jill Biden share hug at LSU’s White House visit
What bad blood?
LSU star Angel Reese and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden hugged it out on Friday when the NCAA champion Tigers visited the White House.
Reese took umbrage at Biden’s reaction to LSU’s 102-85 win over Iowa on Apr. 2, in which she expressed a desire to invite both teams to D.C.
The 21-year-old publicly rejected the First Lady’s idea of a dual invite — which was also walked back by White House staffs — only to say she would join her teammates in D.C. during an appearance on “SportsCenter” on Apr 7.
If there were any lingering bad feelings between the two, it didn’t show as the Tigers celebrated their first NCAA title with President Joe Biden.
“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best,” Jill Biden said.
“Every basket was pure joy and I kept thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” she added. “We’ve made so much progress and we still have so much more work to do.”
The newly announced Sports Illustrated model, Reese, embraced Jill and gifted the First Lady with a custom white LSU jersey with “FLOTUS” on the nameplate.
The team posed for photos with Jill and President Biden, who also received a custom Lady Tigers jersey — both included the No. 46 on the back and front to commemorate his presidential number — in a ceremony briefly marred by Tigers freshman Sa’Myah Smith fainting.
“Folks, we witnessed history,” he said. “In this team, we saw hope, we saw pride and we saw purpose. It matters.
“Folks, we need to support women’s sports, not just during the championship run, for the entire year and every season.”
The president also joked that Reese — who is one of the NCAA’s top NIL earners — “made the price go up,” according to Highlight Her’s Ari Chambers.
Reese, who announced her latest NIL deal with Mielle Organics this week, has an NIL valuation of $1.4 million with 26 total NIL deals in her brand portfolio as of May 2023, including Raising Cane’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Calvin Klein, Bose and Coach.
Her star rose after amid the Tigers’ title run, with her taunting of Hawkeyes scorer Caitlin Clark — as well as her title game double-double — earning her headlines.
When Jill Biden suggested she’d like to invite both teams to the White House, “because they played such a good game,” Reese called it “A JOKE.”
The 21-year-old, named “Most Outstanding Player” of the Final Four during the 2023 March Madness tournament, had a change of tune, telling “SportsCenter” that she would visit the White House and do what is best for the team.
“In the beginning, we were hurt — it was emotional because we know how hard we worked all year for everything,” Reese said. “You don’t get that experience [to go to the White House] ever, and 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 we’ve decided we’re going to go.
“I’m a team player,” Reese added. “I’m going to do what’s best for the team. I’m the captain.”
Reese — who turned 21 this month and purchased herself a Mercedes-Benz — is entering her junior year at LSU.