Chicago Sky GM Lays Out Rookie Expectations for Angel Reese

Heavy conducted an exclusive interview with Chicago Sky GM Jeff Pagliocca, prior to the Sky’s WNBA preseason debut on May 3. 

When asked how he sees Angel Reese’s skillset fitting in with the current roster, Pagliocca revealed his expectations for the former LSU star’s first season.

“The combination of Angel’s skillset and her presence make her one of the most competitive players in her class, and we expect that to complement our existing core,” Pagliocca said. “Angel is a relentless competitor who pursues the ball unlike anyone else. I have no doubt her and Kamilla’s rebounding skills could play a huge part in our game this season.
“No matter how talented you are, there’s always going to be transitional period between college ball and a professional league,” Pagliocca added. “She’s a high-profile rookie, but we don’t want to put any unfair pressure on her. Training camp is where starters are decided, and we’re excited to continue growing her game.”

Heavy also asked Pagliocca why he selected Reese with the 2024 WNBA Draft’s No. 7 pick. 

“All our picks were basketball-first decisions, and our primary intention was to build upon the strong roster we already had,” he said.

“We knew Sky would already have a robust wing presence with guards like Dana Evans, Marina Mabrey and now Diamond DeShields, so size and rebounding were big drivers in our draft pick discussions.

“Because my and [Sky head coach Teresa] Weatherspoon’s expertise is deeply rooted in player development, we‘re intentional about identifying players who have the most growth potential, and then evolving our long-term vision based on how those picks could retool the roster,” Pagliocca added.

Therefore, it seems that the Sky selecting Reese was due to her skillset. Her star power is just an added benefit. 

Reese’s First Week Of Training Camp

The Chicago Sky have been busy in practice this week, prior to their May 3 preseason game against the Minnesota Lynx. 

Reese spoke with WGN News after an April 30 practice, and discussed the difference between playing at LSU and in the WNBA.

“Real, real workouts before practice,” Reese said. “That was an adjustment for me. Being able to see that I’m working up a real, real sweat before practice. So I’m getting in here at 8, 9 o’clock and I’m already ready to go. 

“I used to workout at LSU before practice,” Reese added. “But it wasn’t like this. So, just being able to adjust to that has been good for me.”

Coverage of Sky training camp day 2️⃣ from WGN Chicago.

Angel Reese: “I used to workout before practice at LSU but it wasn’t like this” #WNBA

(Via @WGNNews full story:

— Vanshay Murdock 🎥🎥 (@VanshayM) April 30, 2024

Reese also shouted out a local chicken restaurant. 

“Harold’s Chicken is bussin’. I ain’t going to lie to you,” she said, per GN Sports TV.

Angel Reese has been living out of her suitcase ever since she was drafted, but the @chicagosky rookie did find some good eats in the city

“Harold’s Chicken is bussin’. I ain’t going to lie to you.”

More @Reese10Angel:

— GNSportsTV (@GNSportsTV) April 30, 2024

We wonder how Raising Cane’s feels about their ambassador eating at other chicken franchises. 

Will Reese Start Against the Lynx?

Considering Pagliocca’s comments, it will be interesting to see the Sky’s starting five against the Lynx on May 3.

We would imagine that No. 3 draft pick Kamilla Cardoso will start at center, given that she’s the only pure center on Chicago’s roster. 

Although coach Weatherspoon might elect to start all of her rookies on the bench. 

Either way, fans won’t need to wait long before seeing Reese in action. 

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