January 16, 2023
LSU erects statue to honor the great Seimone Augustus
'I’m still trying to wrap my mind around what’s happening'
On Sunday afternoon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana a titan of women’s basketball, Seimone Augustus, finally got her flowers. Her flowers, in this case, came in the form of a towering statue outside of LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center as part of the Seimone Augustus Week festivities.
“I’m still trying to wrap my mind around what’s happening. Everyone is excited, obviously so many people here in Baton Rogue have followed my career since biddy-ball days so it’s a celebration for everyone,” Augustus told media before the statue was erected. “I’m just thankful it’s happening. Coach Mulkey did an amazing job of doing this in less than a year.”
Augustus and LSU Head Coach Kim Mulkey are both Louisiana natives, and according to Mulkey, when she came back to her home state after a long tenure at Baylor, honoring Augustus was one of the first things on her mind.
“I came here for a lot of reasons, and yes winning basketball games is the main reason, but God puts you in places in your life at the right time,” Mulkey told media. “It just hit me when I got here: ‘What else does [Augustus] need to do to get a statue?’ And I brought it up.”
Augustus is the embodiment of Louisiana basketball, winning two state championships at Capitol High School in Baton Rouge and bringing LSU to three straight Final Four appearances, the first in LSU Women’s Basketball history. Augustus was a two-time All-American and two-time Naismith College Player of the Year, Wooden Award, and Wade Trophy trophy winner.
But before she got to LSU, Mulkey tried to recruit her at Louisiana Tech, where she was coaching at the time. Augustus told media how important it was to stay in her home state, considering Tennessee’s program was just a few states away.
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“Home is where the heart is. And it was very, very hard during those times to even think about staying home. And you think about the state of women’s basketball and where it was, and you know, Tennessee being at the top,” Augustus said. “But to go against the grain and kind of bet on yourself, and do it your own way…it gave my family, my friends, my supporters, another four years to really let me become who I needed to become to then go out into the world and accomplish things that were even greater than what I was able to do here.”
After graduating from LSU in 2006, Augustus was drafted #1 by the Minnesota Lynx. Up north, Augustus won four WNBA Championships and solidified herself as one of the greatest of all time.
The statue unveiling encapsulates Augustus’ career in many ways. The event kicked took place on LSU’s Alumni Day with hundreds in attendance, LSU and WNBA legends were supporting online and in attendance, and the team won, continuing their undefeated season.
One of the people who made Sunday’s victory possible was Angel Reese, who is having a breakout season in Baton Rouge, and quickly solidifying herself as an LSU legend with one double-double shy of tying Sylvia Fowles’ LSU record for most consecutive double-doubles. Earlier this week, Reese shared a photo of Augustus and herself circa 2011 that the two honored this weekend.
“[Angel] made me feel old and happy all in one day with the picture. But it’s like coaches always say, ‘You never know who’s watching.’ And that picture kind of symbolizes that,” Augustus said. “Not knowing that this day would come, but thankful that this day is here because Ms. Reese is now a Tiger… Her numbers are through the roof here. And I hope to continue to see that as we go through the season.”
And as Reese and Mulkey are hopeful about leading their team to their first Final Four appearance since 2008, Augustus put into perspective what her statue means for larger LSU women’s athletics.
“I do stand here proudly as a representation of all those women during that time because there were so many female athletes that have come through LSU that have made statements in their respective sports that often go unnoticed,” Augustus said. “Being the first one to be recognized for my talents and my gifts I have to honor them as well and what they’ve done and be thankful I won’t be the last one acknowledged.”
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