Monday, June 17, 2024

Angel Reese clotheslined as WNBA veteran gets ejected: ‘I kept going and kept pushing’

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Chicago Sky star Angel Reese had herself quite the rookie moment in Saturday night’s loss to the Connecticut Sun, which resulted in a WNBA veteran’s ejection

The Sun’s Alyssa Thomas was sent off the court prematurely after a wrestle for a rebound resulted in her clotheslining Reese in the third quarter of Connecticut’s 86-82 victory. 

Thomas stuck her arm and hand out across Reese’s neck as they battled for the rebound, and Reese hit the deck pretty hard. 

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Angel Reese of the Sky plays defense against Alyssa Thomas of the Connecticut Sun on May 25, 2024, at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. (Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

As referees reviewed the call, they found that Thomas committed a flagrant foul 2, the first of her career, and it resulted in an automatic ejection.

After the game, Reese, who finished with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists over 33 minutes on the court, didn’t mind what happened with Thomas. 

She has said before her WNBA career began that she wanted to be “knocked down” and learn from the adversity. She might not have meant it literally, but that’s exactly the way she viewed the situation. 

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“It’s not just because I’m a rookie. I’m a player. I’m a basketball player. They don’t give a damn if I’m a rookie,” Reese said about the incident, via The Athletic. “I mean, I want them to come at me every day. I want them to come at everybody.”

Simply put, Reese isn’t looking for some special treatment because she’s a rookie. If anything, she wants the pressure, the physicality, and the aggression from opponents because, like she said, she’s a basketball player trying to win like the rest of them. 

Angel Reese walks on court

Angel Reese of the Sky during the game against the Connecticut Sun on May 25, 2024, in Chicago. (Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

“They’re not supposed to be nice to me,” Reese continued. “I hope y’all know that. They’re not supposed to be nice to me or lay down because I’m Angel Reese or because I’m a rookie. Like, thank you, AT, for sending a message to me because I got back up and I kept going and kept pushing. Like me and AT have been cool since we were at Maryland so I know it’s not hard feelings. I appreciate her for going at me today or every day.”

As Reese mentioned, she and Thomas go back to their days in College Park, Maryland, playing for the Terrapins. She said before the Sky took on the Sun that she admired Thomas. 

“I know she purposely probably didn’t do it toward me, but just being able to come out there and just be strong and stand on two feet, it was going to be a tough game and that’s what I’m built for.”

Angel Reese with arms on hips

Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky is averaging 12.3 points and 7.8 rebounds during the 2024 season. (Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Reese has acclimated to the WNBA well. She’s averaging 12.3 points and 7.8 rebounds during the 2024 season. 

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