(CNN) Louisiana State University star Angel Reese says neither she nor her team would visit the White House after the Tigers defeated the University of Iowa Hawkeyes 102-85 to win her first NCAA women’s basketball national championship.
Traditionally, the national champions would be invited to the White House. But after first lady Jill Biden’s comments suggesting she invite herself to Iowa sooner seeming to walk backreese said “I AM AN ATHLETE” podcast hosts Brandon Marshall and Ashley Nicole Moss: “I don’t accept the apology because you said what you said… You can’t take back certain things you say… They can have that spotlight. We’re going to the Obamas. We’re going to see Michelle. We’ll see Barack.”
Reese, who was named the women’s tournament Most Outstanding Player as a result of her outstanding performances, also said separately: “I just know if the roles were reversed, they wouldn’t be the same. If we had to lose, we wouldn’t.” be invited to the White House.
But on Wednesday, the school’s athletic department said they would “certainly accept an invitation.”
Speaking Monday, Biden congratulated both teams on their performance in Sunday’s national championship game, as well as specifically noting Iowa’s sportsmanship.
“I attended the NCAA women’s basketball championship last night,” Biden said, while speaking at an event at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.
“So I know the champions will come to the White House, we always do. So, we expect LSU to come, but, you know, I’m going to tell Joe (Biden) that I think Iowa should come too, because they played such a good game.”
Reese, a 20-year-old forward, responded to Biden’s comments, calling them “A JOKE” on Monday, and in an Instagram mail of “The Shade Room,” the recently crowned NCAA champion commented, “WE DID NOT MAKE IT. Period.”
By Tuesday, Biden appeared to back down on the comments, with the first lady’s press secretary, Vanessa Valdivia. saying in a tweet that they “intended to applaud the historic game and all female athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers in their championship win at the White House.”
President Biden had previously said that LSU would be invited to the White House, along with the NCAA. men’s champions, the University of Connecticut.
Reese’s teammate, Alex Morris. took to Twitter to ask Michelle Obama if her team could celebrate their victory at her house, after Barack tweeted his congratulations to the team.
After LSU’s win on Sunday, head coach Kim Mulkey said she would go to the White House if the team was invited.
A spokesman for the Obamas declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Caitlin Clark from Iowa said tuesday that Iowa should not be invited to the White House.
“I don’t think runners-up usually go to the White House. I think LSU should enjoy that moment for them and congratulations, obviously, they deserve to go there. Maybe they could go to the White House on different terms.” Clark said. “That’s for LSU. It’s a great time and they should enjoy every second of being champions.”
CNN’s Jacob Lev, David Lauterbach, Ben Morse and Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.