Jill Biden and LSU star Angel Reese hug it out as Tigers celebrate title at White House

LSU Women’s Basketball Team Visits the White House


Nearly two months after their historic victory in the national championship, the LSU women’s basketball team had the opportunity to visit the White House. The celebratory afternoon, however, had a moment of concern when one of the LSU players fainted on the podium. Despite this incident, the visit was filled with joy as the team received praise from President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and their spouses.

A Scary Moment

During the congratulatory remarks from President Biden in the East Room, forward Sa’Myah Smith, a rising sophomore, collapsed and required immediate medical attention. LSU coach Kim Mulkey assured everyone that Smith was okay but needed to leave for further evaluation by doctors. The incident briefly halted the celebration and created a moment of worry for the team and those present.

An Unexpected Hug

One of the highlights of the visit was LSU star Angel Reese presenting a commemorative jersey to Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady. In a surprising turn of events, Reese not only posed for a photo with Dr. Biden but also gave her a warm embrace. This gesture marked the resolution of a recent controversy between Reese and Dr. Biden, stemming from a comment made by the First Lady regarding extending White House visits to both teams.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pose for photographs with LSU players Emily Ward, left, and Angel Reese, right, during a White House ceremony honoring the Tigers winning the NCAA women

The Controversy

After attending the Tigers’ victorious game against Iowa in the national title game, Dr. Jill Biden suggested that both teams should be invited to the White House because they played a good game. However, her comment received backlash from the LSU team, especially Reese, who referred to the suggestion as a “joke.” Reese expressed her belief that if the roles were reversed, the treatment would be different and mentioned her willingness to visit the Obamas instead.

LSU’s Confirmation

Amidst the controversy, LSU confirmed that their women’s basketball team would indeed visit the White House if invited. Reese also stated on ESPN that she would join her teammates, emphasizing her commitment to the team and her role as captain. The confirmation brought relief and excitement to the LSU team, ensuring their presence at the White House ceremony.

A Joyous Afternoon

On the day of the visit, LSU star Angel Reese stood in the front row as Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the team, praising them for their excellence. The LSU Tigers had an exceptional season, winning 34 out of their 36 games and achieving a dominant victory in the national championship game.

President Biden’s Advocacy

President Joe Biden used the occasion to advocate for increased media coverage and investment in women’s sports. He highlighted the importance of recognizing the achievements of women’s teams and ensuring equal opportunities and support. His remarks aimed to emphasize the significance of women’s sports and encourage further growth and recognition.

Coach Kim Mulkey’s Recognition

During the ceremony, President Biden playfully acknowledged Coach Kim Mulkey’s frequent visits to the White House, mentioning that this was her fifth visit to celebrate an NCAA title. Coach Mulkey expressed her gratitude for the inclusion of family members in this visit, a touching gesture that resonated with her deeply.

Women’s Sports Honored at the White House

White House visits by women’s basketball champions have been a tradition since the mid-1980s. However, in recent years, these visits have become less frequent. Former President Donald Trump did not extend invitations to many championship teams in women’s sports during his tenure. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented such visits in recent times.

UConn Men’s Team Visit

On the same day, the UConn men’s championship team, the UConn Huskies, also had the opportunity to visit the White House. President Biden praised UConn as one of the premier college basketball programs in the country. He mentioned a connection between UConn player Jordan Hawkins and LSU player Angel Reese, hinting at a one-on-one game on the South Lawn.

Excitement and Honor

Jordan Hawkins expressed his surprise and excitement when President Biden called him out by name during the ceremony. He considered it a memorable moment and planned to share it with future generations. UConn coach Dan Hurley described visiting the White House as one of the greatest honors in team sports. He reflected on the sacrifices and struggles that led them to this moment and emphasized the significance of the experience.

Future Celebrations

Other collegiate sports champions are scheduled to celebrate their victories at the White House in the coming month. However, the recent College Football Playoff winner, Georgia, will not be in attendance due to scheduling conflicts. The joint celebration of champions from various collegiate sports will continue the tradition of honoring excellence and achievement in athletics.


The LSU women’s basketball team’s visit to the White House was a significant and memorable event. Despite the momentary concern when one of the players fainted, the afternoon was filled with joy and celebration. The controversy between Angel Reese and Dr. Jill Biden was resolved through a warm hug and the team’s confirmation of their attendance. President Biden used the occasion to advocate for increased recognition and support for women’s sports. The visit also included the UConn men’s championship team, further highlighting the significance of collegiate basketball. The White House continues to honor champions in women’s and men’s sports, fostering a tradition of celebrating excellence in athletics.