5 Things You Never Knew About Basketball Star Angel Reese

Angel Reese was making a name for herself long before she was named a new swimsuit model for Sports Illustrated. The Louisiana State University (LSU) basketball player, who recently led her team to its first national championship, is one of the biggest names in college sports right now—and for good reason! Whether you’ve been dazzled by her beauty or athleticism, now is the right time to get to know her better.

Here are 5 things you never knew about basketball star and new Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Angel Reese.

1. She’s earned the nickname “Bayou Barbie”

Angel Reese has earned attention for being one of the most talented young basketball players around. However, she has also kept the spotlight firmly on her 6’3” frame by bringing her personality to the court. The star athlete has earned the nickname “Bayou Barbie,” partly because she plays for Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, but also because of her eyelash extensions and long, pink nails. The moniker has become so synonymous with the standout player that she has even filed for its trademark and has already begun selling her own “Bayou Barbie” merch.

Related: SI Swimsuit Announces Padma Lakshmi as New Model 

2. She is one of the top NIL earners in the NCAA

An NCAA rule known as "NIL" refers to the use of an athlete's name, image and likeness (hence the acronym NIL) through marketing and promotional endeavors. Angel Reese is one of the top NIL earners, taking in a reported $1.3 million through deals with Amazon Merch on Demand, Xfinity, Outback Steakhouse, Wingstop, Giant Food, Coach, Mercedes-Benz Baton Rouge and McDonald’s—and that’s just to name a few.

3. She holds records in the NCAA

Angel Reese has set the NCAA Women’s Basketball single-season record in double-doubles (i.e. a single-game performance in which a player accumulates 10 or more in two of the following five statistical categories: rebounds, points, assists, blocked shots and steals); and the SEC single-season record in rebounds.

4. She was the highest-ranked recruit in the history of the Maryland Terrapins women’s basketball program

Angel Reese was considered a five-star recruit during her college basketball recruitment process back in 2019. She initially opted to play college basketball for the Maryland Terrapins in November 2019, choosing the team over offers from South Carolina, USC, Syracuse and Tennessee. She became the highest-ranked recruit in the history of the program. However, after two years at Maryland, Reese transferred to LSU.

Related: SI Swimsuit Announces Gymnast Olivia Dunne as New Model

5. She comes from a basketball family

Angel Reese’s mother, also named Angel Reese (formerly Webb), played as a forward for the University of Maryland Baltimore before playing professionally in Luxembourg. Her father, Michael Reese, who she is sadly not in contact with, played at Boston College and Loyola and also had a professional overseas basketball career. Her brother, Julian Reese, followed in his sister’s footsteps when he joined the Maryland Terrapins for the class of 2021. Even her stepbrother, Mikael Hopkins, played ball at Georgetown and professionally overseas in Turkey.

This year was a big one in sports for her family as both Reese and her cousin Jordan Hawkins, who plays for the UConn Huskies, helped propel their respective teams to win NCAA titles.

Next, SI Swimsuit Introduces Basketball Star Angel Reese as Newest Model