Angel Reese isn’t taking anything for granted as a WNBA rookie, but her goals for the Sky are set: ‘I want to dominate’

CHICAGO — Angel Reese doesn’t want to take any part of her rookie season with the Chicago Sky for granted.

It doesn’t matter that she was the No. 7 pick in this year’s WNBA draft a year after winning a national championship with LSU. Or that she’s one of the most famous women’s basketball players in the world, garnering three million followers on Instagram and TikTok respectively.

Throughout her introductory news conference Wednesday, Reese kept emphasizing that she can’t get ahead of herself. She knows the harsh reality of making a roster in the WNBA — and she’s prepared to fight for her spot on the Sky this season.

“I don’t want to go into the league thinking that I’m automatically on the team because I’m not,” Reese said. “Anybody can get cut any given day. We have amazing vets on our team and I know they’re gonna push me every day to get even better. There’s no given spot. I don’t take this moment for granted (like) I’m just gonna have it given to me. I need to go out there and earn my spot.”

Rookie introductions look a little different this year, both in Chicago and across the WNBA. The Sky sold out of Reese jerseys before she landed in the city. New teammate and No. 13 draft pick Brynna Maxwell was one of many to offer up praise for Reese amid her introduction: “I think Angel Reese may be the best rebounder I’ve ever seen.”

But at her core, Reese is just a 21-year-old who regularly calls her mom for advice as she moves to a big new city.

“I know I have a lot of attention behind me, but I am still a rookie,” Reese said. “I am still 21. Me and (No. 3 pick) Kamilla (Cardoso) and Brynna are going to be coming in and just looking to learn and grow.”

Despite the whirlwind turnaround from her last NCAA game on April 1 to the draft on April 15 to her flight to Chicago on Tuesday, Reese said she’s been in the gym every day to prepare for the rigor of her first WNBA training camp.

After playing wing for the majority of her high school career, Reese hopes to mold herself into a “big guard” for the Sky who can play the stretch four position. Reese aspires to model her game after former Chicago Sky star Candace Parker, who has remained one of her favorite players since she was a young girl watching the WNBA.

That will require her rookie season to take a learning curve as she focuses on her exterior shot, which was the weakest part of her game throughout college. A self-described perfectionist, Reese is ready to drill the parts of her game that need to grow. And she’s confident in the translation of her greatest strength — defense.

The Sky’s rookie growth will be guided by first-year coach Teresa Weatherspoon, who embraced Reese after her news conference — and immediately began to offer advice. Reese said she has also been supported by the presence of veteran players like Brianna Turner and Isabelle Harrison.

Reese is still juggling important aspects of her move — setting up her apartment, finding a nail and lash technician — while finishing up her degree at LSU. But when training camp begins on Sunday, the rookie is ready to focus on making her first roster — and whatever might come next.

“I’m trying to do whatever it takes to win and my impact coming in as a rookie, being able to learn and grow and be a sponge,” Reese said. “But also I want to dominate. I’m super competitive, so I want this team to go amazing places. I came to Chicago to leave an impact.”