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LSU’s Angel Reese gained 650K Instagram followers during March Madness

LSU's Angel Reese and Flau'jae Johnson gained hundreds of thousands of social media followers during the 2023 NCAA Tournament. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Angel Reese topped 1.1 million followers on Instagram following LSU’s run to the national title. 

Both Reese and teammate Flau’jae Johnson were the top two social media stars across the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments, leading all Final Four players in Instagram followers. Johnson had 884,000 followers at the start of the Final Four last Friday, and she has broken the 1 million mark as well. 

Reese began the tournament with 447,000 followers, and she started the Final Four with 558,000 followers. Then her profile skyrocketed, as she gained more than 650,000 followers during March Madness.

Reese’s NIL valuation has increased along with her follower count. According to On 3, her valuation now sits at $876,000, which marks a $485,000 increase over the past week. She now sits third overall in NIL rankings for women’s basketball.

And while Reese may soon see her NIL deals multiply, what’s on her mind is the impact she’s had on young girls who one day envision themselves in her shoes. 

“I didn’t even realize the impact I made on so many little girls. Sometimes I’m like what am I doing that you guys love? What is it?” she said Saturday. “I’ll ask them, why do you love me? And they said, because you are who you are. You’re you. And that’s just a trait, the biggest trait I carry. 

“Be who you are, and never, ever back down to anyone. Don’t ever get the answer no. I don’t take the answer no. I’m going to find a way to get things done.”

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark also saw a significant increase in followers, with her count more than doubling from 230,000 followers to 539,000 on Instagram during the Final Tour weekend. She now sits sixth on the NIL valuations list.

And if you ask Clark, the coolest part of her impact has been seeing how the game of women’s basketball has grown.

“Honestly, I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. I don’t think it will hit me for a couple more weeks. I’m trying to enjoy every single second of this,” she said Saturday. “I will say what I really loved is I saw so many videos of people back in Iowa City, just every single bar completely packed, screaming about women’s basketball. That’s so, so cool to see your impact on your university and your state.”

The men, meanwhile, didn’t see such follower increases. Andre Jackson Jr., who was the most-followed men’s Final Four player with 61,100 followers, saw just an increase of 2,800 followers during UConn’s run to the title.