January 30, 2023

Seimone Augustus is honored by LSU with a statue outside the arena

Former LSU Tigers women’s basketball player Seimone Augustus is honored with a statue unveiled outside the program’s arena, the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Augustus has gone to the Women’s Final Four three times with the Tigers. She was then the #1 pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx, with whom she played 14 years and won four league championships. Augustus finished her WNBA career in 2020 with the Los Angeles Sparks. She also won three Olympic gold medals with the United States women’s team.

Augustus, 38, is the first LSU athlete to have a statue on campus. LSU coach Kim Mulkey said honoring Augustus and other programs’ legends was one of her biggest priorities when she came to the school in 2021.

“Many people have taken part in this journey,” said Augustus. “I’m just grateful that it happened. Coach Mulkey did a great job making it happen. It’s great to just think about what this moment means.

“I didn’t do this alone. So many female athletes here from my time have been an inspiration. We’ve all been going on our own race, our own journey, and I stand here proudly as a representation of all these women. Many great female athletes have come through LSU who have made statements in their own sports.” I will not be the last woman to be recognized.”

Augustus is a native of Baton Rouge who was heavily recruited as a prep player, including by Mulkey when she was an assistant for the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters. Mulkey then took over as the head coach of the Baylor Bears in 2000. Mulkey said she believed August’s ties to her hometown were too strong for her to go elsewhere for college.

“Honestly, I didn’t think we were in it,” Mulkey said of Augustus’ signing. “In my heart of hearts, I could never see her not playing for LSU.”

As a sophomore in 2004, Augustus led the program to its first of five straight Final Four appearances. The Tigers have never reached an NCAA Final, however, losing in the National Semifinals in each of those years. In 2005, they lost in the semifinals to Mulkey Baylor, who went on to win the national championship.

A 2005 and 2006 National Player of the Year in women’s basketball, Augustus finished her career at LSU with averages of 19.3 points and 5.2 rebounds. In her 15 seasons in the WNBA, she averaged 15.4 points and 3.1 rebounds, and was an eight-time All-Star. She was also the 2006 WNBA Rookie of the Year and the 2011 WNBA Finals MVP.

Her jersey No. 33 was retired by LSU in 2010 and by the Lynx in 2022. Among other athletes, Augustus said she hopes it will also be honored by LSU’s former Tigers and Lynx teammate, who retired it after the 2022 WNBA season.

Current LSU standout Angel Reese recently posted a photo on social media of herself and Augustus after the 2011 WNBA game in Washington, D.C. Reese was 9 years old at the time, and grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, often attending Washington Mystics games to watch the players. from across the league. August was one of her favourites.

“And now I’m at LSU, following in her footsteps,” said Reese, who transferred to LSU from Maryland. “I always looked up to Simone and Maya Moore, those two types of players. To be able to go to their games at such a young age and talk to the players, that was important to me. My mum always said I could be that one day.”

Augustus said she is proud of Reese and the Tigers who are currently one of three undefeated teams in the Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. Augustus said she hopes things like her statue will continue to inspire future generations.

“It’s like the coaches always say, you never know who’s watching,” said Augustus. “That picture symbolizes that. I always wanted to make sure I gave autographs and pictures to young people. I didn’t know this day would come, but thankfully it did, because now Miss Reese is a tiger.”