Seimone Augustus has claimed many achievements over a storied career. Starting at Baton Rouge’s Capitol High, she was on the cover of Sports Illustrated for Women as a high school freshman way before LeBron James hit the front pages. Louisiana's Miss Basketball in 2001 and 2002 also played in the first McDonald’s Girls All-America game, just the start of a pioneering career.

Three Olympic gold medals. Four WNBA titles. The first woman to have a statue on LSU's campus. Angel Reese is making history but still has a lot of work to do to get in the Louisiana Best-Ever Women's Basketball Player conversation. Augustus is clearly in a class of her own. She was honored by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in April, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in June, and the Naismith Hall of Fame in October. The National High School Sports Hall of Fame (2019) and Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame (2021) have also called down to Baton Rouge recently.

Augustus had to joke about all of the speeches that had to be prepared but did admit the Louisiana call was the most emotional.

Statue unveiling ceremony for Seimone Augustus outside of the Pete Marovich center on the campus of LSU
Scott Clause-USA TODAY Sports

“It's been a Hall of Fame year for me,” Augustus laughed. “But when I got the call for this one, it was the best one. To be honored by the people that I know and that I love, who have watched me since I was knee-high, I'm pretty sure a lot of people in here could probably tell you a story or two about how we are relatives or kin in some type of way. This one definitely means the most because it's home.”

There are surely more awards to come over the years. The story will remain the same, and Augustus told plenty of it during the induction ceremony speech. In a state and college dominated by football and baseball, former LSU Athletics Director and fellow multiple Hall of Fame member Skip Bertman dubbed Augustus “the single most important recruit in the history of LSU Athletics.”

Augustus talked about the first hard-luck ride home which inspired this journey during the induction ceremony.

“It was the first loss I ever took. It was my first game at my elementary school against one of my neighbors. She beat me and I was upset about it,” Augustus admitted. “So my dad came and picked me up from school and I was still venting about the game. My dad said you got to learn how to be a great loser before you be a great winner. So we got in the car, and it's a short ride home, but before I got out of the car he asked ‘do you want to be good or do you want to be great?”

“I got out the car and yelled ‘I want to be great!” she continued while acting out a Chappelle Show-styled door slam. “I slammed the door and stormed toward the house but heard him yell back ‘Well we got some work to do!”

The years of hard work that followed were rewarded with an impressive resume but the retired life does not sound appealing to Augustus. Thankfully the Louisiana native found a new challenge close to home, again.

Seimone Augustus can't leave LSU alone

Statue unveiling ceremony for Seimone Augustus outside of the Pete Maravich center on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge

Just like the initial college decision, Augustus decided to stay home for life's next challenge, sort of. Coaching was not exactly in the cards initially but the calls kept coming.

“Coaches just kept calling me. I really tried to run away from it but everyone kept saying I have a great knack for it,” Augustus said. “I don't really talk a whole lot. I have a calm demeanor and they say that's perfect to balance out the coaches you may be working with.”

This drew a huge laugh from the crowd, as it would for anyone familiar with Kim Mulkey and college hoops. Already a campus, state, and global sporting legend as a player, Augustus joined Mulkey's LSU Lady Tigers staff as an assistant coach in May 2024. Still, it's easy to see why the hometown girl cannot leave the Baton Rouge campus for too long.

No, seriously, you can literally see it. LSU unveiled a statue in Augustus' honor in January 2023. It was only proper for someone who shunned Tennessee and UConn to pack the PMAC instead. Augustus led the Lady Tigers with 2,702 career points, averaging 19.3 points. 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists over four seasons. LSU got a 114-17 record and three Final Fours out of the investment in local talent.

Augustus does want one moment back just a bit more than the others though.

“If I had one moment where I could go back and we could redo it, it would be the 2004 New Orleans Final Four. If I could redo that one, I would,” the Hall of Famer reminisced. “(The LSU Lady Tigers) are celebrating in New Orleans for many reasons. We had a great team but also it was our last year with we got to spend with Coach Sue Gunter.”

It's fitting that on Kim Mulkey's bench is where the Lady Tigers Legend with links to Sue Gunter will start learning the coaching ropes. LSU can expect that perhaps underappreciated leadership with Augustus back on campus. At least, leadership was what popped to mind when asked about what perhaps went under the radar during the playing career.

“I think my leadership. Because I was so quiet I normally led by example,” Augustus shared. “I think my teammates would beg to differ when it comes to my vocal abilities to help them get through some of their struggles.”

There are moments away from home this Augustus does miss, however. Most of them are in Minnesota.

Missing time with Minnesota Lynx

Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus (33) holds up the championship trophy after the game against the Los Angeles Sparks
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Augustus was the USBWA National Freshman of the Year in 2003. The game-changing point-forward swept NCAA's National Player of the Year awards (Wade, Naismith, Wooden, and Honda) in 2005 and 2006. The Minnesota Lynx held the WNBA's first overall pick and made the obvious choice. Again, Augustus led by example, winning the WNBA 2006 Rookie of the Year award.

Then came the popped champagne after championship games. Augustus won WNBA titles with the Lynx in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. She was the 2011 Finals MVP, first-team All-WNBA in 2012, and made the All-WNBA second-team five teams with eight All-Star Game appearances to boot. The first Lethal Lady for The Boot made the WNBA’s 20th anniversary and 25th anniversary teams.

It was the time with the Lynx that Augustus brought up when asked about the best moments when it came to the spirit of the game.

“My time with the Lynx was amazing. Literally from 2011 to 2018 was by far the best experience I've ever had.”

In all, Augustus scored 6,005 career points (tied for 13th in WNBA history), averaging 15.9 points a game for the Lynx and 15.4 overall. Overseas, Augustus was the Euro Cup MVP in 2009 and led teams to Euro Cup titles in 2008 and 2009. She led the U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning teams in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame is the latest bit of recognition in the community. The 2024-25 LSU Lady Tigers will be the next to hear Augustus roar in the gym. As for the WNBA and women's game today, Augustus was not shy about the hows or the why which of course came back around to LSU.

“It's blowing up. (The level of attention) is where it should have been ten years ago. It takes time for people to evolve, for people to see, but it takes special players. With Angel Reese doing what she is doing and Caitlyn Clark, and many others, it's bringing more visibility (to the WNBA) and eyes (to the women's game). It's showing people what we've known for years. The WNBA and women's basketball is a great product and I'm excited to finally see that growth.”

Was this explosion dependent on an LSU woman working crowds into a frenzy?

“Of course,” Augustus agreed. “Go Tigers!”