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LSU women’s basketball celebrates national championship at White House

"I want to congratulate you. I assume I'll be seeing you next year and next year," President Biden said.
Credit: AP
President Joe Biden speaks with LSU's Angel Reese, center, and other members of the LSU women's basketball team during an event to honor the 2023 NCAA national championship-winning team in the East Room of the White House, Friday, May 26, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — The LSU Women’s Basketball team celebrated its national championship at the White House Friday.

The celebration started at 1 p.m. 

President Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Harris, and head coach Kim Mulkey briefly spoke. 

"I want to congratulate you. I assume I'll be seeing you next year and next year," President Biden said.  

While President Biden was speaking, LSU forward Sa'myah Smith fainted. The ceremony was put on hold while Smith received medical attention.

Mulkey said Smith was “fine, a little embarrassed.”

On Thursday, the Tigers visited the Louisiana Congressional Delegation at the U.S. Capitol.

LSU won the 2023 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament after defeating Iowa 102-85 in April. LSU's point total was the most ever scored in a championship game by a single team. The 187 combined total also shattered the previous mark. The game also drew a television audience of 9.9 million, a record for an NCAA women's title game.

Following the game, First Lady Jill Biden had said that she wanted the defeated Iowa women’s basketball team to be invited to the White House in addition to the national title winner LSU. 

After mounting backlash on social media, First Lady Jill Biden's office seemingly backed off statements that she wanted Iowa women’s basketball.

The comments sparked immediate backlash across the country and from the national champions. LSU star Angel Reese tweeted a link to a story on Jill Biden's remarks. “ A JOKE,” she wrote, along with three rolling-on-floor-laughing emojis. 

After the controversy, LSU accepted an invitation from President Joe Biden to visit the White House, and Angel Reese confirmed that she would attend.

The women’s basketball team is the fourth LSU sport to visit the White House in celebration of a national championship. They join baseball, football, and track and field.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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