A White House victory speech from President Joe Biden turned scary on Friday when LSU Tigers Sa’Myah Smith suddenly collapsed as Biden was speaking.
Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and first lady Jill Biden had gathered to honor the Lousiana State University Tigers who took the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball championship title.
“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best: Jasmine Carson, who led the team with 22 points, going seven for seven in the first half. Angel Reese, who broke the NCAA record for double-doubles in a season. Alexis Morris, who led with nine assists,” Jill Biden said, before introducing Harris. “All of you, who worked together as one, scoring the most points ever in a women’s title game.”
Congratulations once again, LSU Tigers!
You showed us what it means to be a champion. pic.twitter.com/huFw1Fqgac
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) May 26, 2023
“Welcome to a group that defines excellence in every way — truly excellence,” Harris said. “Coach Kim [Duane Mulkey], thank you for your extraordinary leadership. We had a moment to talk about your seasons of winning in terms of being a coach and inspiring the young women of America. Thank you for the work that you do. And to the winners of this year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament, the LSU Tigers. Congratulations. Congratulations. Congratulations.”
To Alexis, Angel, Flau’jae, and the entire LSU Tigers women’s basketball team, I am so impressed by your poise, strength, and excellence. We cannot wait to celebrate your NCAA Championship at the White House today. pic.twitter.com/7XmTVm7run
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 26, 2023
Both Harris and Jill Biden gave lengthy speeches as the basketball players stood behind them. When President Biden took the mic, he, too, gave a host of introductions and a long-winded talk about Title IX, the need to support women’s sports, and the importance of empowering young girls.
“You know, I used to tell our daughters, our granddaughters, they can do anything at all. Anything any man can do, they can do. And that’s what makes Amer— that’s what America is all about: possibilities. And that’s what this team is all about: Incredible athletes redefining what’s possible,” President Biden said. “And one more thing: We’re hosting the UConn’s men basketball team later today. And they’re the men’s champs — ”
And that’s when Smith appeared to faint, much to the president’s shock.
To Biden’s credit, he looked genuinely concerned.
“It’s a lot of standing,” the president noted sympathetically.
“Folks, it’s okay. We’re get–” he stammered. “Everything is okay. We’re going to –everything is all right. It’s a lot of standing. I apologize.”
At that point, the event was paused as Smith received medical care.
“She’s okay,” the President assured the crowd. “She’s — it’s happened lots of times.”
According to Fox News Digital, “The White House’s live video feed was cut after the collapse, with a message saying ‘resuming shortly’ appearing on the screen.”
Smith, a freshman from Texas, was ultimately taken from the room in a wheelchair, and, after several minutes, the event resumed.
“Well, it’s — like I said: This is not the first time it’s happened, not to her but to any — a lot of folks standing up on this stage,” Biden said.
LSU later provided an update on Smith’s condition.
“During LSU’s ceremony on the White House, Sa’Myah Smith started feeling overheated, nauseous, and like she might faint before being helped down,” the team stated. “Smith was conscious and communicating with the LSU and White House medical staff while being evaluated. Every checked out well and she was able to return to the team. She is feeling well, in good spirits, and will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge.”
“All is well!” Smith tweeted. “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 [sic],” she joked. “Geaux Tigers!”
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!
Geaux Tigers! https://t.co/EA27QQ3aam
— Sa’Myah Smith (@samyahsmith5) May 26, 2023
Despite her frightening experience, Smith still managed to make a supporter smile.
TMZ spotted the player boarding the team’s bus following her collapse. But she took the time to pose for a picture after a request, making the event all the more memorable for the fan.
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