After fainting in the middle of the White House celebration to honor the LSU Tiger’s national championship, Sa’Myah Smith wants the world to know that she is ok — and that President Joe Biden gave her a special gift as a memento of the occasion.
“I’m great, better — way better than earlier,” she said once she was released form the White House’s care and made her way back to the team’s hotel. “I don’t quite remember how everything happened. I just remember waking up pretty scared. The last thing I remember is telling one of my coaches, ‘Hey, I think I’m going to pass out.'”
Biden autographed an old-fashioned leather basketball and wrote a message to Smith: “Sa’Myah — it was wonderful (to) have you at the White House. You are the best. /Joe Biden 5-26-23”
Smith took time at the hotel to take a photograph with a young fan from Texas, her home state.
Smith’s fainting did not come as a surprise to Coach Kim Mulkey.
“She did this on her recruiting visit,” Mulkey said after the ceremony. “We should have thought about it earlier.”
Smith collapsed just as the president was speaking to the team and the crowd gathered in the East Room. Medics and military personnel rushed forward to see about her and the ceremony paused.
Meanwhile, Biden was assuring those present that she was OK and this kind of thing happens from time to time.
After Smith came to, she was rolled out of the East Room for a check up. Within an hour, the White House released her and she was back at the hotel loading up and getting ready to fly back to Baton Rouge.
“I guess everybody is going to see this,” she said, sheepishly, as she talked about the day’s events. “But I’m the only one on the team to get a leather basketball signed by Joe Biden! … It was kind of worth it.”