Celebrities Come Out For Women’s Hoops Senior Nights 

WHN | Mar 4, 2024

By Jared Feldman Sunday was Senior Night for some of the brightest collegiate stars, and the celebrities came out to…

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By Jared Feldman

Sunday was Senior Night for some of the brightest collegiate stars, and the celebrities came out to celebrate. During the ceremonies, LSU legend Shaquille O’Neal walked beside senior Angel Reese. The two have a particular bond; when Reese stepped away from  the team earlier this season, O’Neal sent her encouraging notes.In an interview with USA TODAY Sports, Reese revealed that she sees O’Neal as “a father figure” rather than a basketball mentor or celebrity acquaintance. 

“He’s super inspiring to me,” Reese said. “He’s so genuine, he’s been there for me through tough times. He just gets it, and there’s not a more perfect person for me to be tight with. We have fun, and if I need anything, he would help me … and he would do that even if I never played basketball again. He doesn’t care about me as a player, he cares about me as a person.”

“Shaq may have followed us before Angel but it’s obviously her connection with Shaq,” Mulkey said.”I didn’t know he was here and I thought that’s a big man walking out and then I saw it was Shaq.”

Another senior who had celebrities in attendance was Caitlin Clark who was surprised before the game by her  favorite player of all-time, former UConn and WNBA forward Maya Moore. Moore surprised Clark outside the Hawkeyes’ locker room during an interview with ESPN’s Elle Duncan for this morning’s “College Gameday” at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The encounter was captured on the team’s official X account.

“I remember sitting right there (in the stands of the Target Center in Minneapolis), I had a Rebecca Brunson jersey on and Maya Moore was doing a speaking engagement with like two other (Minnesota) Lynx players and I just sprinted onto the court, Clark said. “I wasn’t suppose to be there, me and my dad were supposed to leave.

“They were playing the Seattle Storm at the time with Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson and I just sprinted there. I didn’t have a phone and I didn’t have a sharpie, I just gave her a hug and I ran away. That’s what I did. But that is something that’s vividly stuck (with me) and she gave me a hug back. … One interaction can change somebody’s life really. I still talk about that interaction and it was, what, over 10 years ago.”

Also in attendance was rapper Travis Scott who had a courtside seat to the action and even joined in the team on the floor in its postgame celebration, posing for a photo and shaking hands with Bluder.

“You know, Caitlin Clark, she’s one of the greatest humans of all time,” said Scott.

Former MLB pitcher Nolan Ryan, who is not known for his basketball talents, was also in attendance on Sunday. Ryan, who has pitched for the New York Mets, Anaheim Angels, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers, has the all-time career strikeout record of 5,714.

Jake from State Farm, played by Kevin Mile, attended the game wearing a personalized blazer displaying Clark’s name and the number 22. Lynette Woodard, who Clark passed earlier this week for the most points in major college women’s basketball history, was also present and received her flowers as the crowd recognized her. 

Jared Feldman is a sports journalist based in Las Vegas. During his time at UNLV he was apart of Rebel Report and covered Lady Rebels and Runnin’ Rebels games and Las Vegas Aces games.

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