Shaq, Reese Speak Of Their Connection

April 23, 2024

NBA Playoffs are in full swing this week. The men’s and women’s NCAA college tournaments are over, but there’s still a little news there, too. This past week was the WNBA Draft, and several of the biggest names in the ladies game were snapped up by the women’s pro hoops league.

The biggest headlines went to former Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark. While she wasn’t able to win the national Championship in the college tournament, she was drafted Number One by the Indiana Fever Women’s National Basketball Association. The former Hawkeye is regarded as one of the greatest female collegiate players of all time.

LSU’s Angel Reese – who’s been featured here on the ShaqFu Radio blog several times – was taken with the Number 7 overall pick in the WNBA draft by the Chicago Sky. It’ll be great to see her, Clark and the other superstars of the ladies league this summer.

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In an interview with PEOPLE Magazine, our man Shaq talked about the on-going advice he’s giving to Reese, as she leaves the college game and enters the bigger game of life. “I am described as Angel’s understandable ear,” O’Neal told PEOPLE. “I know things that she went through, I know what she’s going through, I know what’s about to happen to her and I could give her advice.”

Both Shaq and Reese are now officially LSU alumni… with a bit of an age difference between them. “She’s the same age as my children, so I only want the best for her,” O’Neal said. “And when you have daughters, you know how to use that calm voice,” he adds. “So after Reese was selected in the WNBA Draft, the first thing I told her is I was proud of her.”

Over the last few years, a definite bond has developed between the two. It was O’Neal who was on hand – along with Reese’s mother (also named Angel) to celebrate Seniors Day with other teammates at LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

For her part, Reese says she’s definitely benefited from Shaq’s support and advice. Speaking to ESPN, she said, “He’s really smart, not just on the basketball court, but just in life. He has his doctorate, so he’s educated, being a lot of things outside of basketball. Being able to have somebody like that has been a great inspiration for me. And of course, enjoying the moment like this with him and the rest of my family was fun tonight.”

Now, Reese is excited about the next phase of her career, heading into Chicago. “Knowing the conversations were so good and [Sky Coach Weatherspoon] felt like a mother to me. Being able to be a Black woman and as a head coach, and everything she’s done at the NBA level, I just knew everything they were bringing to the table. Jeff [Pagliocca], the GM, was amazing, too, and player development is something that I was looking for and they looked for in me. I’m super excited for this move, and I’m just looking forward to getting to Chicago.”

The WNBA season starts Friday, May 3rd. Looking forward to it! 

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