The sight of Seimone Augustus in transition on the basketball court was magic.
After a 15-year professional basketball career Augustus, the former Capitol High and LSU All-American, has decided to transition from player to coach after announcing her retirement Thursday from the Los Angeles Sparks to join the Sparks’ coaching staff of head coach Derek Fisher.
“It’s an honor to continue to serve the game that has given me so much,” Augustus said in a release by the L.A. Sparks. “I’m excited to join the Sparks staff and look forward to developing in this new role.”
The 37-year-old Augustus emerged from Baton Rouge’s Capitol High as one of the nation’s top players, electing to remain home when she chose LSU over Tennessee in a hotly contested recruiting battle that former Lady Tigers coach Sue Gunter won over former Lady Vols’ iconic coach Pat Summitt.
Augustus was at the forefront of LSU’s rise to a national power in women’s college basketball where she was a three-time, first team All-American and helped the Lady Tigers to three of five consecutive trips to the Final Four. She was also a two-time winner of both the Wade Trophy and Naismith Award and was selected Player of the Year in the SEC for the 2005-06 season.
Augustus was the first overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx where she continued to add additional layers of greatness to her career. She spent 14 years with the Lynx where she helped the franchise to four WNBA titles before signing with the L.A. Sparks as a free agent last offseason.
She played in 20 games with the Sparks, averaging 5.9 points and shooting 49% from the field in what turned out to be her final season of professional basketball.
Augustus will transition to the sideline where she’ll serve as one of three full-time assistants to Fisher. The team opens its 3 ½ month season on May 14.
“Seimone Augustus is one of the greatest basketball players to ever step foot on a court,” Fisher said. “Her impact as a pioneer in our sport can be seen through all the players and people she’s impacted in this game. It’s been an amazing honor to work with her over the past year and we’re excited to add all of her wisdom to our coaching staff.”
Augustus was one of 10 players to reach the 6,000-point plateau in WNBA history, finishing with 6,005 points.
Scoring was never a problem for the 6-foot Augustus who scored 3,600 points at Capitol High before moving to LSU where she became the school’s second-leading scorer and fifth in SEC history with 2,702 points.
Augustus became the first female athlete at LSU to have her jersey retired when her No. 33 joined such men’s legends as Pete Maravich, Bob Pettit, Rudy Macklin and Shaquille O’Neal high atop the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Augustus, the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2006, was also selected the Most Valuable Player of the WNBA’s Championship Finals in 2011 when she led Minnesota to the first of its four league championships and scored 5,479 points in 325 games.
She was also an eight-time WNBA All-Star and played nine years overseas in such places as Russia and Turkey.
Augustus won three Olympic gold medals as a member of the U.S. women’s team (2008, 2012, 2016) to go with her gold medal in 2014 as a member of the FIBA World Championship team.