How LSU prepared Sky’s Angel Reese for WNBA success

Angel Reese credits LSU for a smooth WNBA transition.

Despite the Chicago Sky’s rocky start to the season, holding a 4-7 record, the rookie forward has showcased the same versatile game that defined her success with the Lady Tigers.

“I think my transition has been great, it hasn’t been a super big huge surprise because (LSU coach) Kim Mulkey kinda prepared me for this moment.” Reese told CBS Sports.

“At LSU, our practices were like four hours. We were ready, we were working, I thought training camp was going to be harder. So, I think I was really prepared.”

LSU head coach Kim Mulkey hugging Angel Reese during a women’s NCAA basketball game in 2023. AP
Reese and Mulkey after the LSU star was drafted. Getty Images

The No. 7 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft rose to fame during her tenure at LSU, helping the Tigers secure their first NCAA women’s college basketball title in 2023. 

Reese has made it clear that Mulkey helped her develop into one of the game’s bright young talents after transferring to the SEC school from Maryland for her final two seasons.

After Mulkey was ejected by officials during LSU’s 81-36 victory over Northwestern State in December 2023, Reese acknowledged that she and her coach share that same competitive spirit.

Getty Images

The forward had to physically hold her coach back during the ejection. 

“Me and coach Mulkey have similar personalities, and we really like to win no matter the score,” she told reporters, per People. “And of course she’s going to fight for us, and we all fight for her, so that moment was fun, and we knew she had our back and we had her back.”

The two shared a touching moment on June 6 when Mulkey sat courtside for the Sky’s 79-71 win over the Mystics, with Reese tallying 16 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and five steals.

Mulkey and Reese hugged and posed for photographs.

“She just said she’s super proud of me,” Reese said, according to X user @SummerDC_. “… She’ll support you no matter what. She’s like a mother to me. She calls me still, she checks in on me making sure I’m good. Checks in on my family, calls my grandma.”

Reese and Mulkey share a hug. @WNBA/X
Mulkey (L) coached Reese (r) to a national title. @WNBA/X

It’s clear Reese still looks up to her coach, whose tutelage has played a large role in why Reese is averaging 12.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game to start her career.

She scored a season-high 20 points Wednesday night against the Sun in an 83-75 loss.

Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese shooting a free throw during WNBA game against the New York Liberty. Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Sky return to the court Friday to again face the Mystics.

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