Louisiana State University superstar Angel Reese was ready for the media smoke upon her return to the basketball court following an unexplained two-week haitus.
Reese, 21, who is a willing lightning rod for controversy and impassioned debate about how she comports herself on and off the court, greeted the media following LSU’s through beating of No. 9 Virginia Tech, 82-64, in Baton Rouge on Saturday.“How happy are y’all to see me? I know y’all are. Let’s have some fun here,” she announced as she walked into the postgame press conference.
Of course, the first several questions were aimed at Reese, who explained for the first time why she took a four-game interlude. She also said that NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, an LSU alum, Facetimed Reese almost every day to ensure her mental health was intact.“My mental health is the most important thing before anything. And I’m going to make sure I’m OK before anything. Because I don’t want to cause anything, harm or any cancer within the locker room,” Reese told reporters, according to TigerBait.
“So, being able to take a reset to myself. Like I said before, I am human. I’m not just an athlete and that’s OK to do. Pros do it all the time.”
Angel Reese came in postgame, said, “who’s happy to see me?! I know y’all are!”
She’s talked a lot about her mental health, taking time for herself and how important that was for her.
I asked her who she leaned on during the last couple of weeks. She talked a lot with Shaq: pic.twitter.com/kHcK8UdqNW
— Cory Diaz (@ByCoryDiaz) December 1, 2023
Later in the press conference, Reese told the public that they should not believe the speculation and rumors that swirled wildly during her absence.
“So, whatever stories that were wrote [sic] and written, don’t believe everything you read. I’m back, and I’m happy, and I’m here. And I’m moving forward, and I’m gonna help take this team as far as I can,” Reese said authoritatively.
“I talk to Shaq every day. He FaceTimes me every day. He checked on me. He called me every single day to make sure I was good. He told me every day this too shall pass.
“He’s been here before. He knows what it takes and just being able to have somebody like that was something that was really good for me,” Reese said.
Finally, Reese added, “He told me when I was right. He told me when I was wrong. He told me what I needed to do to get back to where I needed to be and I know he’s gonna call me after the game, if he hasn’t already.”
Following the media session, Reese used her three-million-strong Instagram page to clap back at the rumors about her absence that she says are categorically false.
“So it looks like Angel Reese was NOT:
– Academically ineligible– Going out of her mind– Letting fame get to her– Making too much money– Not taking basketball seriously.”
Some of Reese’s fans agreed with her, which was crystallized in this post:
I’m glad to see Angel Reese will be back with her team and playing tonight. I would love to know what the reason she was out is (THEY say her grades slipped but she said that’s not what happened), but I’m also cool if that doesn’t come out because it’s really none of our business pic.twitter.com/EmsxMekKKb
— Ultramagnetic LB’s (@LBrothersMedia) November 29, 2023
Source: Rolling Out