After 14 years of being a key contributor for the Minnesota Lynx, four-time NBA champion Seimone Augustus signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Augustus was a major factor in the intense rivalry between the Lynx and the Sparks during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Her performance those years gave Sparks fans a glimpse of what Augustus can bring to Los Angeles.
“It took a couple weeks to get over the idea of playing with players that we’ve had intense rivalries, intense games with,” Augustus said. “I know what it feels like to be around and play with great players so just the feeling of being able to experience that once again is what’s keeping me focused on not the rivalries and the past tensions, but the possibilities of the future.”
Augustus has a decorated career with the WNBA and USA Basketball. She is one of four Sparks players that were named Rookie of the Year.
In 2017, Augustus averaged 10.9 points per game during the season and 13.9 points per game during the playoffs. This helped the Lynx secure their fourth championship. Augustus noted how the pace of the Sparks gameplay enticed her to play on the team.
“The fact that you have two agile post players who can play inside and out in Candace (Parker) and Nneka (Ogwumike), that just run into drag screens, they can slip screens, you can play off of the openness of the court with them,” Augustus said. “With drive and kick, isolation plays, the opportunity in my older age to try to put somebody on skates if I have a chance to, or get out in transition and just play off of that flow was key.”
Her career with Team USA extends back to her teenage years. The three-time Olympic gold medalist has played 111 games for Team USA, only losing six. Augustus won gold medals in the 2008 FIBA Ball Tournament and the 2006 Opals World Challenge.
Hall of Famers Tina Thompson and Katie Smith were mentors for Augustus, helping her understand the importance of playing her role. Playing for Team USA taught her how to be a “leader from the bench,” a skill that she used when Team USA played exhibition games in late 2019.
“I was a great player, but I had to learn how to play with other great players, that’s what USA basketball is about,” Augustus said. “You can’t come here and score 20 points a game, you have to find something that you’re great at that maybe another player is kind of weak at, and kind of stay in that little niche, and do that to the best of your abilities.”
Augustus is quarantining in her native Louisiana and trains in a full gym that she owns. She works with a strength and conditioning coach from her Alma Mater LSU.
“As far as workouts for me, it’s mainly therapy, rehab, and just continuing to build on strengthening and conditioning to get my quads and my knees able to hold myself,” Augustus said. “As well as my nutritional part of it is eating right and trying to keep my weight down during the quarantine which is very tough.”