LSU basketball star Sa’Myah Smith collapses during Joe Biden’s speech at the White House

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WASHINGTON — President Biden’s White House celebration of the Louisiana State University women’s basketball team was sidelined Friday afternoon when freshman forward Sa’Myah Smith collapsed during his remarks.

The 80-year-old president awkwardly stood by his East Room lectern for about six minutes while Smith was treated and removed from the room in a wheelchair.

“This is not the first time it has happened,” Biden said after the event resumed. White House guests have passed out in the past and had to get checked out at a doctor’s office built in the executive mansion.

Smith, of DeSoto, Texas, played in all 36 games for the Tigers, averaging 4.6 points per game as the team won its first-ever women’s basketball championship last month.

Biden hosted the team after uncertainty over whether the players would show up after first lady Jill Biden accidentally snubbed them by saying the runner-up University of Iowa should also be invited.

Sa'Myah Smith collapses.
Louisiana state freshman Sa’Myah Smith collapsed during President Biden’s remarks.
Getty Images

Tigers star forward Angel Reese — whom President Biden mistakenly called “Angela” on Friday before correcting himself — received a hug from Jill Biden during the celebration, after saying last month that the team might miss the White House.

‘I don’t accept [Jill Biden’s] apologies because of ‘you said what you said’…and you can’t go back on certain things you say, for example,” Reese said in a podcast at the time. “[Iowa] can have that spotlight. We’re going to the Obamas. We’ll see Michelle. We’ll see Barack.’

Reese also claimed that Jill Biden was not allowed to visit the LSU players in the locker room before the championship game.

“Apparently she was going to come to our locker room before the game, but we said ‘no’,” Reese said. “She was going to come to our locker room and to the Iowa locker room… But we said we didn’t want that. We didn’t want her in the dressing room.”

Player Sa'Myah Smith passes out as US President Joe Biden welcomes the Louisiana State University Tigers Women's Basketball team to celebrate their 2022-2023 NCAA Championship season in the East Room of the White House in Washington on May 26, 2023.
The 80-year-old president awkwardly stood by his East Room lectern for about six minutes while Smith was treated and removed from the room in a wheelchair.
Gripas Yuri/ABACA/Shutterstock

Trying to mend fences on Friday, the president called out Reese for making the cost of attending women’s games more than the price of tickets for the LSU men’s team.

While speaking, Biden again rejected his granddaughter Navy Roberts, 4, who fathered his son Hunter out of wedlock, telling the players he had “four granddaughters.”

Biden hosted the event during tense debt-ceiling negotiations with House Republicans, which the Treasury Department says could lead to federal debt as early as next week.

President Joe Biden speaks with LSU's Angel Reese.
The meeting comes after reported drama between the LSU women’s basketball team and Jill Biden.

Biden is slated to leave Washington Friday night for Memorial Day weekend trips to Camp David and Delaware — despite House Democrats anonymously defrauding him for doing so.

A top White House negotiator, Budget Director Shalanda Young, attended the LSU event, as did Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), who is one of the leading GOP negotiators.

“Shalanda Young there, director of management and budget, putting together a deal — hopefully,” Biden said. “[Young] now helping me with the critical budget discussions we are in the midst of right now. But she said, ‘I’m leaving the talks to be here.’”

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