LSU basketball player Sa’Myah Smith (right) passed out in the middle of President Joe Biden’s (middle) speech congratulating the team on their national championship (Pictures: Getty Images)
A women’s basketball player passed out as President Joe Biden delivered a speech congratulating them on their national championship.
The Louisiana State University Tigers Women’s Basketball team visited the White House on Friday afternoon for a hosted celebration of their 2022-2003 NCAA Division I championship season. Biden was mid-speech when an unpleasant surprise struck the ceremony.
‘Incredible athletes redefining what’s possible,’ the president said. ‘And one more thing, we’re hosting UConn men’s basketball team later today and they’re the men’s champs…’
At that moment, the audience’s attention diverted away from Biden to the group of LSU players and staff standing to his right.
‘Oh oh oh oh,’ someone could be heard saying in a video showing people looking toward the middle of the group, as multiple officials rushing forward.
‘Are you ok?’ a person could be heard saying.
Freshman forward Sa’Myah Smith had collapsed. An image showed her leaning backwards with her eyes and open as various people supported her.
LSU coach Kim Mulkey later said that Smith ‘was fine’.
Louisiana State University team member Sa’Myah Smith (center) is supported by her teammates while collapsing during a celebration of the team’s NCAA Division I women’s basketball national championship in the White House on Friday (Picture: Getty Images)
‘As you can see, we leave our mark wherever we go,’ Mulkey told the Lafayette Daily Advertiser.
‘No, Sa’Myah is fine for those of you who are concerned. Sa’Myah is fine I’ll assure you of that.
‘She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed. She doesn’t want to leave, she wants to stand with us but she needs to be checked out.’
Smith was attended by White House medical staff in a wheelchair. It was not immediately known why she fainted.
Louisiana State University team member Sa’Myah Smith is attended to by White House medical staff after collapsing during a celebration of the team’s NCAA Division I women’s basketball national championship in the East Room of the White House (Picture: Getty Images)
After everyone calmed down, LSU star Angel Reese gifted the president and First Lady Jill Biden custom Tigers jerseys. Reese also hugged the first lady.
Mulkey has visited the White House four times, each with a different president. The Tigers this season finished 34-2 after starting the season 23-0.
‘She’s been with 19 presidents, but this maybe her best moment, with this team,’ joked the president.
‘I’m sure I’ll be seeing you next year and the next year.’
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Louisiana State University Tigers freshman Sa’Myah Smith passed out during President Joe Biden’s speech at the White House.