BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The national championship-winning LSU women’s basketball team were celebrated at the White House on Friday as they got a “Geaux Tigers” from the president.
The team landed in Washington D.C. on Thursday where they were greeted by the Louisiana Congressional Delegation with a lunch and tour, according to LSU Athletics.
On Friday, the LSU Lady Tigers attended an afternoon ceremony at the White House where President Joe Biden celebrated the team’s national championship win and the impact the players have made.
“Folks, we need to support women’s sports – not just during the championship run but the entire year and every season,” said Biden. “Showing up in person, watching on television, creating more programming and scholarships and sponsorships and opportunities for millions of women and girls to realize their dreams and know they can do literally anything at all.”
The ceremony was temporarily paused after player Sa’Myah Smith fainted during the president’s remarks. Later in the day, she tweeted, “All is well! Thank you to the first responders and everyone who helped, you all are greatly appreciated! I guess you can say I left my mark at The white house!”
Biden reassured that Smith was okay as she got medical treatment. The ceremony resumed after a few minutes. At the podium, Coach Kim Mulkey said Smith was fine, just embarrassed.
“I would like to thank you, President Biden, Vice President Harris,” said Mulkey. “I don’t want to get emotional here but we are a proud state. I came back to the state of Louisiana to be a positive. Little did I know that I would get to coach this group of people. They came to our state, and you’re looking at the finest our state has to offer.”
Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, were gifted their own LSU basketball jerseys that read “POTUS” and “FLOTUS” on the back.
Mulkey led the team to its first national championship with a 102-point win against Iowa. LSU said the basketball game brought in a record 9.9 million television viewers.
This wasn’t Mulkey’s first trip to the nation’s Capitol to visit a U.S. president. LSU Athletics said Friday’s trip will mark the fifth president she’s visited after national championship wins and a 1984 Olympics gold medal win. She previously met former presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan.