WNBA season starts this weekend for three former LSU stars

Former LSU All-American and Baton Rouge native Seimone Augustus announced her retirement Thursday after 15 years in the WNBA to join the coaching staff of the Los Angeles Sparks as an assistant coach. PHOTO courtesy of LSU athletic department

Former LSU women’s basketball stars Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles and Theresa Plaisance continue their WNBA careers this weekend as the coronavirus-delated 2020 season starts at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Augustus, 36, a guard who was two-time national Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006 for LSU and who had her Tigers’ No. 33 jersey retired in 2010, is in her first season with the Los Angeles Sparks.

She played 14 seasons with the Minnesota Lynx where she was part of four championship teams, was an an eight-time All-Star and a six-time All-WNBA honoree. Also, she’s a three-time Olympic gold medalist on the USA team and hopes to win a fourth next year.

She ranks 11th on the WNBA all-time scoring list with 5,881 points, averaging 15.9 points per game with career shooting percentages of 48.0 in field goals and 85.9 free throws.

Augustus and the Sparks will start the season Saturday with a 2 p.m. CT game on ABC against the Phoenix Mercury.

Fowles, 34, is a center who was a three-time All-SEC first team pick for the Tigers in 2006, 2007 and 2008 (when she was the league’s Player of the Year and had her No. 34 LSU jersey retired in 2018. She is going into her 13th season and sixth with the Lynx. She’s second on the WNBA’s all-time rebounding list with 3,332 rebounds and needs 25 boards to pass Rebekkah Brunson (3,356) as the league’s career leader.

She’s a two-time WNBA champion, a two-time Finals MVP and was the WNBA MVP in 2017. Like Augustus, she’s a three-time Olympic gold medalist going for No. 4 next year and spent the offseason at home for the first time in over a decade to train with the USA Basketball’s Women’s National Team after years of playing overseas.

Plaisance, 28, a forward, who was a 2013 and 2014 first-team All-SEC honoree at LSU, is starting her seventh WNBA season. The 2014 draft pick was traded to the Connecticut Sun in August 2019 after five-plus seasons with the Tulsa Shock/Dallas Wings organization. Last year was her first season back on the court after battling a knee injury that prematurely ended her 2018 season.

She spent this past offseason playing in China for Shaanxi. Last December 19 Just days after being hospitalized for a virus, Plaisance had 51 points and 31 rebounds game against Tianjin. Nine days later vs. Wuhan, she scored 65 points, including 19 of 24 free throws. 

Fowles and Plaisance meet will battle on Sunday at 11 a.m. when the Lynx and the Sun play on ESPN.

The opening weekend is dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. The season is dedicated to social justice through the league new platform The Justice Movement.

Here’s the season schedule for Augustus (Sparks), Fowles (Lynx) and Plaisance (Sun). All times are CT. TV networks are in parenthesis. Games in bold are ones Sparks, Fowles and Plaisance play each other.

Saturday, July 25, Los Angeles Sparks vs. Phoenix Mercury 2 p.m. (ABC)

Sunday, July 26 Connecticut Sun vs. Minnesota Lynx 11 a.m. (ESPN)    

Tuesday, July 28 Washington Mystics vs. Connecticut Sun 6 p.m., Los Angeles Sparks vs. Chicago Sky 7 p.m., Minnesota Lynx vs. Seattle Storm 9 p.m. (CBSSN)

Thursday, July 30 Chicago Sky vs. Minnesota Lynx 7 p.m. (FSN North), Connecticut Sun vs. Los Angeles Sparks  9 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday, August 1 Minnesota Lynx vs. Connecticut Sun 3 p.m., Los Angeles Sparks vs. Seattle Storm 7 p.m. (CBSSN)

Tuesday, August 4 Connecticut Sun vs. Seattle Storm 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

Wednesday, August 5 Minnesota Lynx vs. New York Liberty 6 p.m. (CBSSN), Indiana Fever vs. Los Angeles Sparks (9 p.m).

Thursday, August 6 Connecticut Sun vs. Dallas Wings 7 p.m.

Friday, August 7 Indiana Fever vs. Minnesota Lynx 5 p.m. (FSN Go), Los Angeles Sparks vs. Las Vegas Aces  8 p.m. (ESPN2)

Saturday, August 8 Chicago Sky vs. Connecticut Sun 4 p.m.

Sunday, August 9 Minnesota Lynx vs. Los Angeles Sparks 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Monday, August 10 Connecticut Sun vs. Atlanta Dream 5 p.m.

Tuesday, August 11 Washington Mystics vs. Minnesota Lynx 5 p.m. (FSN Go), New York Liberty vs. Los Angeles Sparks 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

Wednesday, August 12 Dallas Wings vs. Connecticut Sun 6 p.m. (CBSSN)

Thursday, August 13 Los Angeles Sparks vs. Washington Mystics 6 p.m. (ESPN2), Minnesota Lynx vs. Las Vegas Aces 8 p.m. ( ESPN2)

Friday, August 14 Connecticut Sun vs. Chicago Sky 6 p.m. (CBSSN)

Saturday, August 15 Los Angeles Sparks vs. Indiana Fever 3 p.m., New York Liberty vs. Minnesota Lynx 5 p.m. (CBSSN)

Sunday, August 16 Seattle Storm vs. Connecticut Sun 5 p.m.

Tuesday, August 18 Indiana Fever vs. Connecticut Sun 6 p.m. (CBSSN)

Wednesday, August 19 Dallas Wings vs. Minnesota Lynx 8 p.m. (FSN Go), Phoenix Mercury vs. Los Angeles Sparks 9 p.m.

Thursday, August 20 Connecticut Sun vs. Las Vegas Aces 9 p.m. (CBSSN)

Friday, August 21 Los Angeles Sparks vs. Atlanta Dream 6 p.m., Minnesota Lynx vs. Phoenix Mercury 9 p.m. (CBSSN)

Saturday, August 22 New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun 3 p.m. (CBSSN)

Sunday, August 23 Atlanta Dream vs. Minnesota Lynx  3 p.m. (FSN Go), Dallas Wings vs. Los Angeles Sparks 5 p.m.

Wednesday, August 26 Los Angeles Sparks vs. Minnesota Lynx  7 p.m. CBSSN, Connecticut Sun vs. Phoenix Mercury 9 p.m. (CBSSN)

Friday, August 28 Minnesota Lynx vs. Atlanta Dream 6 p.m. (FSN Go), Los Angeles Sparks vs. Connecticut Sun 7 p.m. (CBSSN)

Sunday, August 30 Connecticut Sun vs. Washington Mystics 3 p.m., Phoenix Mercury vs. Minnesota Lynx 5 p.m. (FSN North), Atlanta Dream vs. Los Angeles Sparks 7 p.m.

Tuesday, September 1 Connecticut Sun vs. New York Liberty 6 p.m. (CBSSN)

Wednesday, September 2 Minnesota Lynx vs. Chicago Sky 6 p.m. (FSN Go), Los Angeles Sparks vs. Dallas Wings 7 p.m. (CBSSN)

Thursday, September 3 Las Vegas Aces vs. Connecticut Sun 7 p.m.

Friday, September 4 Minnesota Lynx vs. Dallas Wings 7 p.m. (FSN Go), Seattle Storm vs. Los Angeles Sparks 9 p.m.

Saturday, September 5 Connecticut Sun vs. Indiana Fever  3 p.m.

Sunday, September 6 Seattle Storm vs. Minnesota Lynx 5 p.m. (FSN North), Chicago Sky vs. Los Angeles Sparks 7 p.m. (CBSSN)

Tuesday, September 8 Los Angeles Sparks vs. New York Liberty  6 p.m. (CBSSN), Minnesota Lynx vs. Washington Mystics 7 p.m. (FSN Go)

Wednesday, September 9 Phoenix Mercury vs. Connecticut Sun 6 p.m.

Thursday, September 10 Las Vegas Aces vs. Minnesota Lynx 7 p.m. (FSN North), Washington Mystics vs. Los Angeles Sparks 9 p.m. (CBSSN)

Friday, September 11 Atlanta Dream vs. Connecticut Sun 6 p.m.

Saturday, September 12 Minnesota Lynx vs. Indiana Fever 5 p.m. (FSN North), Las Vegas Aces vs. Los Angeles Sparks 7 p.m.

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