Championship college basketball player faints and gets kicked out at White House event
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Medical personnel were rushed to the East Room of the White House on Friday when a member of the collegiate championship-winning Louisiana State University women’s basketball team passed out at an event honoring the team.
US President Joe Biden called for year-round support for women’s sports when the player standing behind the podium in the stands slipped down and was carried off the stage.
“It’s a lot of standing. I apologize,” Biden said. “It’s okay. It has happened many times.”
Coach Kim Mulkey said the player, newcomer Sa’Myah Smith, was fine when staff pushed her out.
“As you can see, we leave our mark wherever we go. That’s what Sa’myah planned,” Mulkey said.
“No, Sa’myah is fine for those of you who are concerned. Sa’myah is fine; I assure you… She doesn’t want to leave. She wants to stand with us, but she needs it.” to be checked out.
The event marked a thawing of earlier tensions between the team and the government after First Lady Jill Biden previously suggested that runner-up Iowa could also be invited, in a break with tradition.
Star striker Angel Reese, who averaged 23 points a game last season, had previously said she was “hurt” by the plan but was there on Friday to hug the first lady and present her with a commemorative jersey .
The University of Connecticut men’s championship team was scheduled to arrive at the White House at 5:00 p.m. ET for a similar reception.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in Washington, DC and Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)
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