Angel Reese is headed to the next level.

The Randallstown native who played at St. Frances and the University of Maryland has declared for the WNBA draft, ending a college career that saw her crowned an NCAA champion in 2023 with the LSU Tigers.

Reese made her declaration in characteristically bold style: a fashion shoot with Vogue magazine. It was fitting for the 21-year-old who is known by her nickname, “the Bayou Barbie” — or “Baltimore Barbie” as she’s suggested when back in Maryland.

“I’m leaving college with everything I ever wanted: a degree, a national championship and this platform I could have never imagined,” Reese said in a video she shared on social media. “This is for the girls who look like me, that’s gonna speak up on what they believe in. It’s unapologetically you.”

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Throughout her career, Reese has been unapologetically one of the most charismatic figures in women’s basketball, which experienced a surge in ratings and cultural relevance during her rise.

The two-time All-American at LSU was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2023 tournament, when she famously helped to defeat Iowa and flaunted the victory at demonstrative Hawkeyes star Caitlin Clark. That victory — at the time the highest-rated game in women’s college basketball history with more than 10 million viewers — catapulted Reese into stardom, allowing her to cash in on name, image and likeness deals with Reebok and other major companies.

Reese also has been welcomed as a hero in her hometown. Last year, a court in Randallstown was named after her. When the Tigers played a game at Coppin State, the 4,500-person venue was quickly sold out for the first time ever, with ticket prices rising high on the secondary market. Reese also presented a scholarship to St. Frances with her mother, also named Angel Reese, as a way of giving back.

This season, Reese was still one of the best players in college hoops (she averaged 18.6 points and 13.4 rebounds for 31-6 LSU), but the Tigers fell in a hyped rematch with Clark and the Hawkeyes. The game smashed the previous record with 12.3 million viewers.

Afterward, a tearful Reese acknowledged that the season — which saw her sit out four games for unexplained reasons — had not been easy, saying she had been villainized and sexualized since achieving celebrity. But she also promised not to compromise her outspoken personality.

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“I wouldn’t change anything, and I would still sit here and say I’m unapologetically me,” she said. “I’m going to always leave that mark and be who I am and stand on that.”

Reese is widely projected as a first-round pick in the WNBA draft April 15.

Kyle joined The Baltimore Banner in 2023 as a sports columnist. He previously covered the L.A. Lakers for The Orange County Register and myriad sports at The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s a Mt. Hebron High and University of Maryland alum.

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