Seimone Augustus is the first woman to have her jersey number retired at LSU (L.A. Sparks photo)

After 15 years of playing in the WNBA, Seimone Augustus announced her retirement prior to the beginning of the 2021 WNBA season. She now is a member of the Sparks coaching staff.

Augustus had a Hall-of-Fame worthy career, having won four WNBA championships and becoming the 2011 WNBA Finals MVP. She is also a three-time Olympic gold medalist and a seven-time WNBA All-Star.

During her career, Augustus scored 15.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game while shooting at 48.0 percent in field goals.

Augustus mentioned how coaching was spoken on her life, different people have recommended her to become a coach in recent years. One of her friends also recommended coaching when she witnessed Augustus teaching a boy how to ride a pogo stick at a party.

“She was like ‘look at what just happened, you [were] able to tell him what to do, how to do it, and he listened,’” Augustus said. “She was like ‘Do you know how rare that is, that people or young people listen and they take your advice?’”

Thoughts of retiring came to Augustus when she began preparing for training camp. As the Sparks began training for the season, she noticed how aches and pains were hard to bear. After consulting with her parents and head coach Derek Fisher, Augustus decided to transition into coaching.

“It gave me an opportunity to be around my teammates and getting the opportunity to build a foundation and learn under coach Fisher, [Latricia Trammell] and [Fred Williams],” she said. “It was just a great opportunity to continue to be a part of the ecosystem here in the WNBA and continue to help them grow and make this better.”

Augustus started playing basketball at the age of five and grew to become a local phenom in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“People back at home connect with me well because they followed me since middle school,” Augustus said. “My game brought people together from all walks of life.”

Her game also boosted ticket sales during her time at LSU, Augustus won the Wade Trophy, the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, and the John Wooden Award in 2005 and 2006. She helped the Lady Tigers to three consecutive Final Four appearances. In her college career, Augustus scored 19.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game.

Her college head coach Sue Gunter taught the team how to be professionals and not to make excuses.

“She taught us how to have an amazing work ethic no matter what,” Augustus said. “I always appreciated that because people always speak about my work ethic … as a pro an athlete period.”

Augustus was the top pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft, acquired by the Minnesota Lynx; after scoring 21.9 points per game, she became Rookie of the Year and earned her first All Star appearance.

In 2011, Augustus led the Lynx in scoring and helped them secure a 27-7 overall record that season. They ultimately swept the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA Finals; Augustus won Finals MVP for scoring 24.7 points per game.

Augustus ultimately assisted the Lynx to six WNBA Finals appearances; the final two being against the Sparks. In her 10 postseason appearances, Augustus averaged 15.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists. She mentioned how the Lynx organization will always have a place in her heart.

“I gave them everything in 14 years that I can give,” Augustus said. “I felt that in return, the fans were always amazing.”