Angel Reese thanks Alyssa Thomas for flagrant foul: 'I got back up and I kept going and kept pushing'

May 25, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) defends against Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese (5) during the second half of a WNBA game at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Angel Reese wasn't lying in early April when she said she wanted to be "knocked down and learn and grow at the next level." The Chicago Sky rookie has been knocked down and is getting back up with grace every single time.

Reese took a clothesline to the neck Saturday night during the Sky's 86-82 loss to the Connecticut Sun, courtesy of veteran Alyssa Thomas. Thomas stuck up her arm — and her hand— on Reese's neck while the two were fighting for a rebound in the third quarter and Reese went down hard.

Thomas was called for the first flagrant foul 2 of her career and was ejected. Following the game, Reese said she doesn't think she's being treated differently on the floor because she's a rookie — it's all basketball.

“It’s not just because I’m a rookie. I’m a player. I’m a basketball player," Reese said via The Athletic. "They don’t give a damn if I’m a rookie. I mean, I want them to come at me every day. I want them to come at everybody."

Reese reinforced that she believes she's just another basketball player and shouldn't be treated any differently than anyone else on the floor.

"I mean, they’re not supposed to be nice to me. I hope y’all know that. They’re not supposed to be nice to me or lay down because I’m Angel Reese or because I’m a rookie. Like, thank you AT for sending a message to me because I got back up and I kept going and kept pushing. Like me and AT have been cool since we were at Maryland so I know it’s no hard feelings. I appreciate her for going at me today or every day.”

What could have made this situation awkward was that before the game, Reese had spoken about how much she admired Thomas, who attended Maryland just like she did. But Reese later said she didn't think Thomas fouled her like that on purpose, and her opinion of the longtime WNBA star hadn't changed.

“No hard feelings to AT,” Reese said via The Athletic. “I know she purposely probably didn’t do it towards me, but just being able to come out there and just be strong and stand on two feet, it was going to be a tough game and that’s what I’m built for.”