Angel Reese becomes the latest Louisiana State University athlete to start online classes. Reese’s popularity has continued since LSU’s women’s basketball team won the title earlier this year.   

The basketball player has been a celebrity since signing multiple NIL deals and increased social media followers. She threw the first pitch at the Orioles game and starred in Latto and Cardi B’s music video. The “Bayou Barbie” is hugely recognizable on campus; therefore, she opted for online classes at LSU instead of in-person classes. Reese wants to prioritize her studies, and online classes give her that opportunity.   

“I don’t feel like I’m a celebrity, but I think a lot of people look at me as a celebrity now because of the impact I’ve had on not just women’s basketball, but sports in general, and Black women,” said Reese in an interview with Teen Vogue.

“School’s first, basketball is next. I wouldn’t be here without school and basketball, so that’s my priority.”

According to Sports Illustrated, LSU fans will see Reese on the court soon as she promised fans “another natty is coming.”  

Do Professional Athletes Like Angel Reese Need College?

The recent surge in WNBA viewership has sparked fresh discussions about the pathways to professional basketball. According to NBA Communicationsthe WNBA experienced a significant rise in ratings this year, with a 67 percent increase from last year, averaging 556,184 viewers across major networks. This growth emphasizes the league’s growing influence and relevance.  

The college route for pro-ball players remains a topic of heated debate. Advocates believe attending college can provide athletes with invaluable life skills and foundational training. The college atmosphere sharpens their skills on the court and prepares them for life’s challenges. It instills discipline, fosters teamwork, and ensures players have a degree to fall back on if their athletic pursuits falter.

Conversely, critics argue that immediate entry into professional leagues is more beneficial for players with undeniable talent. College play poses risks, especially injuries, which might compromise their budding careers. Furthermore, these talents could lose valuable years of income and professional experience. The debate continues, but one thing remains clear; whether from college or straight from high school, talent finds its way to the top, as seen in the thriving WNBA.