BATON ROUGE — After all these years, there is one thing left about Seimone Augustus.
She’s still “The Show,” both at LSU and around Baton Rouge.
It’s been over 20 years since she chose to stay home and sign with LSU Women’s Basketball at Capitol High School, turning down Pat Summitt’s mighty Lady Vols to do so. She loved her community and the belief that what could be accomplished just 5 miles from her home could mirror what she could have done in Knoxville.
That legacy included three Final Four runs before an even more notable career in the WNBA. On Sunday, this heirloom was displayed in his bronze likeness for all to see.
LSU unveiled its statue of Augustus in front of its basketball practice facility, making her the first female athlete to receive such an immortal honor on campus.
Follow every game: Latest NCAA Women’s College Basketball Scores and Schedules
NEVER MISS A MOMENT: Sign up to our sports newsletter for daily updates
Signs of Augustus’ greatness had already found homes around LSU facilities. His likeness is on the wall where Tigers coach Kim Mulkey and his team train. The three Final Four banners that Augustus helped bring out decorate the wall, serving as a sign of his dominance and influence over the program.
Now his statue stands side by side with LSU legends Shaquille O’Neal, Bob Pettit and Pete Maravich. The most important recruit, male or female, in the history of LSU athletics, as Skip Bertman, former baseball coach and national championship-winning director of athletics, called him.
“That smile (hers). That’s what Seimone makes us do, she makes us smile,” current LSU athletic director Scott Woodward said Sunday.
LSU women’s basketball associate head coach Bob Starkey, who was on staff under Sue Gunter when Augustus played, said Augustus always served as a benchmark he asked all of his players to follow on their way to greatness.
“Seimone Augustus was all about the story,” Starkey said. “Seimone’s last year, we led the nation in road attendance because everyone wanted to see her.
“She was the show.”
With the Final Fours, LSU went 94-15 with Augustus on the 2004-07 roster. She won National Player of the Year twice and averaged 19.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and two assists at LSU.
First it was Augustus’ dad, Seymore, who challenged her to be awesome and taught her what kind of work it would take. As she pondered between the Tigers’ hometown and Tennessee, Augustus told the story of someone who approached her for a story and asked if she was good enough to bring women’s basketball to LSU. to new heights.
“I had real role models, not role models, and that’s the discipline you need to achieve greatness,” Augustus said.
She accepted the challenge. And his answer now stands permanently with the other legends. A home where his legacy will not fade as he bathes in light and love for years to come.
A statue of a Baton Rouge native, cemented for Baton Rouge.
“I finally got my name in one of those lights,” she said, wiping away her tears.
Cory Diaz covers the LSU Tigers and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for The Daily Advertiser as part of the USA TODAY Network. Follow his coverage of the Tigers and Cajuns on Twitter: @ByCoryDiaz.