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LSU basketball star Sa’Myah Smith collapses amid Joe Biden speech


WASHINGTON — President Biden’s White House celebration of the Louisiana State University women’s basketball team went awry Friday afternoon when freshman forward Sa’Myah Smith collapsed during his remarks.

The 80-year-old president stood awkwardly in front of his East Room lectern for about six minutes as Smith was treated and removed from the room in a wheelchair.

“This isn’t the first time this has happened,” Biden said after the event resumed. White House guests have passed out in the past and had to undergo a medical examination at a doctor’s office built into the executive mansion.

Smith, of DeSoto, Texas, played in all 36 games for the Tigers, averaging 4.6 points per game as the team won its first-ever women’s basketball championship last month.

Biden hosted the team following uncertainty over whether the players would show up after first lady Jill Biden accidentally snubbed them by saying the University of Iowa runner-up should also be invited.

Louisiana State freshman forward Sa’Myah Smith collapsed during President Biden’s remarks.
Getty Images

Tigers star forward Angel Reese – whom President Biden accidentally called “Angela” on Friday before correcting himself – received a hug from Jill Biden during the celebration, after saying last month that the team could miss the White House.

“I do not accept [Jill Biden’s] apologies because of ‘you said what you said’…and like, you can’t take back some things you say,” Reese said on a podcast at the time.”[Iowa] can have this projector. We will go to the Obamas. We will see Michelle. We will see Barack.

Reese also claimed that Jill Biden was banned from visiting LSU players in the locker room before the championship game.

“Apparently she was supposed to come into our locker room before the game, but we said ‘no,'” Reese said. “She was supposed to come into our locker room and go into the Iowa locker room… But we said we didn’t want to. We didn’t want her to come into the locker room.


Player Sa'Myah Smith passes out as US President Joe Biden hosts the Louisiana State University Tigers women's basketball team to celebrate their 2022-23 NCAA Championship season in the East Room of the White House in Washington on May 26, 2023.
The 80-year-old president stood awkwardly in front of his East Room lectern for about six minutes as Smith was treated and removed from the room in a wheelchair.
Gripas Yuri/ABACA/Shutterstock

The president tried to mend the fences on Friday, hailing Reese for making the cost of attending women’s games exceed the price of tickets for LSU’s men’s team.

As he spoke, Biden once again snubbed his granddaughter Navy Roberts, 4, who his son Hunter fathered out of wedlock, telling players he had “four granddaughters.”

Biden staged the event during tense debt ceiling negotiations with House Republicans, which the Treasury Department says could lead to a federal debt default as early as next week.


President Joe Biden speaks with LSU's Angel Reese.
The reunion comes after reported drama between the LSU women’s basketball team and Jill Biden.
PA

Biden is due to leave Washington Friday night for Memorial Day weekend trips to Camp David and Delaware — despite House Democrats anonymously ripping him for doing so.

A top White House negotiator, Budget Director Shalanda Young, attended the LSU event, as did Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), who is a top GOP negotiator.

“Shalanda Young there, direct from management and budget, getting a deal — hopefully,” Biden said. “[Young] now helps me with the critical budget discussions we are having. But she said, “I’m leaving the talks to be here.”

New York Post

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