DALLAS — The national champion LSU women’s basketball team was honored at the White House on Friday, but President Joe Biden had to pause his remarks for several minutes after former DeSoto (Texas) star Sa’Myah Smith collapsed onstage.
ESPN reported that medical personnel were rushed into the East Room after Smith fainted while Biden called for year-round support for women’s sports. Smith, who was standing in the risers behind the podium, slunk downward and was helped off the stage.
LSU released a statement, saying Smith “started feeling overheated, nauseous and like she might faint before being helped down. Smith was conscious and communicating with the LSU and White House medical staff while being evaluated. Everything checked out well and she was able to return to the team.” Smith will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge.
Smith posted on Twitter: “All is well! Thank you to the first responders and everyone who helped, you all are greatly appreciated! I guess you can say I left my mark at The white house!”
ESPN reported that Biden signed an old-fashioned leather basketball for Smith, writing: “Sa’Myah — it was wonderful (to) have you at the White House. You are the best. /Joe Biden 5-26-23″
Smith averaged 4.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks as a freshman as LSU reached the Final Four for the first time since 2008. Smith led DeSoto to Class 6A state titles in 2021 and 2022 and was named The Dallas Morning News All-Area Player of the Year in 2022 after averaging 12.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 5.5 blocks.
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