LSU Basketball Icon Angel Reese Talks Building Her Brand in the October Cover Feature of ‘Sports Illustrated’

The athlete has made a name for herself both on and off the court—and is inspiring others to do the same.
Angel Reese.

Angel Reese.


LSU women’s basketball player Angel Reese has become a household name, and not only for her performance on the court. She has certainly made her mark on the program since transferring from the University of Maryland, helping to lead her team to the school’s first women’s NCAA title in the spring of this year and earning Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four honors along the way.

But Reese’s impact doesn’t stop at the gym door, it extends much farther. Under the NCAA’s NIL legislation, the 21-year-old has worked hard to build her brand. She has her sights set on the WNBA, but is fully aware that the level of compensation in women’s professional sports lags far behind that of male counterparts. Thus, she’s making the most of the opportunity she has now—as a star basketball player—to profit off of her own name and talents.

Angel Reese.

Angel Reese.

Reese has earned her extensive media attention throughout the past year, including a feature in the 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue. Now, she’s gracing the cover of the October issue of Sports Illustrated alongside fellow Tigers athlete, gymnast Olivia Dunne. The feature discusses the state of NIL deals, particularly among women athletes at LSU, and focuses primarily on the success of Reese and Dunne.

For Reese, making a name for herself isn’t just a matter of personal success—it’s a matter of inspiration. She takes pride in the way she has inspired people of all ages to make the most of their brands. As the eighth highest-paid college athlete according to On3, Reese has come to represent success under the new system, meeting with prospective LSU athletes and showing them the possibilities that come with being a Tiger. 

“Just being able to see how much I’ve inspired people,” Reese told Sports Illustrated of the good her platform has created thus far. “Not just people that look like me, but everybody in general. Like, men, women, young girls, young boys, older people—older people will text me to say, like, ‘Thank you for saying things that I don’t have the platform to [say].’”

Reese will embark on her senior season with the LSU women’s basketball team later this year. In addition to continued success off the court, the star will no doubt continue to make a name for herself in the gym in the hopes of defending her team’s National Championship title.

Angel Reese and Olivia Dunne.

Angel Reese and Olivia Dunne.

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Martha Zaytoun

MARTHA ZAYTOUN

Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.