Angel Reese Is ‘Super Excited’ for Her WNBA Debut and the ‘Impact’ of Her Star-Studded Draft Class

"I think we’re in a really great direction, and having support from your vets is amazing," she told reporters.

<p>Mariel Tyler/NBAE via Getty</p> Angel Reese

Mariel Tyler/NBAE via Getty

Angel Reese

As Angel Reese moves to Chicago and starts practicing for her new team — the Sky — she's getting excited for her rookie year and what her star-studded draft class means for the future of the WNBA.

During a team press conference April 24, Reese, 21, spoke in-depth about the warm welcome she and fellow top draft pick Kamilla Cardoso have already received from their older teammates.

"They were telling me they were super excited for us to come here and be in this amazing league and being able to be embraced by vets is something that I love and being able to be appreciated,” she said.

Reese was the no. 7 overall WNBA draft pick along with one of the best draft classes in history, including teammate Cardoso at no. 3, number one pick and fellow superstar Caitlin Clark and no. 2 Cameron Brink. Reese said it feels “amazing” to think about their impact on the future of the WNBA.

“I think we’re going up right now. Being able to see so many different things with the networks, with the ticket sales, with the jersey sales, like, I think we’re in a really great direction and having support from your vets is amazing,” she told reporters.

Related: Angel Reese Selected by Chicago Sky with 7th Pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft

<p>Andy Lyons/Getty</p> Angel Reese

Andy Lyons/Getty

Angel Reese

Just after Reese was drafted, mentor and NBA legend (and fellow LSU grad) Shaquille O’Neal spoke with PEOPLE about his close bond with the rookie and the bright future he sees for her.

"I am described as Angel's understandable ear," O'Neal tells PEOPLE. "I know things that she went through, I know what she's going through, I know what's about to happen to her and I could give her advice."

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Last month, during her senior day celebration, Reese spoke about O’Neal’s mentorship to ESPN. "He has his doctorate, so he's educated, being a lot of things outside of basketball. Being able to have somebody like that has been a great inspiration for me,” she said.

Related: Shaquille O’Neal Reveals the First Thing He Told Angel Reese After the WNBA Draft (Exclusive)

“And of course, enjoying the moment like this with him and the rest of my family was fun tonight."

Angel Reese enters the WNBA as the 2023 SEC Player of the Year, a three-time AP All-American and snagged a national championship win with LSU last year.

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