Two former LSU women’s basketball greats will be going for the gold once again.
Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles, who teamed up for two of LSU’s five straight Women’s Final Four appearances a decade ago, are on the list of 25 finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team.
The finalists were announced Monday by USA Basketball.
Augustus, 31, a Baton Rouge native who prepared at Capitol High school, and Fowles, 30, helped Team USA win gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London games.
The U.S. team must be pared to 12 players who will compete in this year’s Olympics, Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro.
Other finalists include Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins, Brittney Griner, Maya Moore, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi.
After a training camp in February at the University of Connecticut, a USA Basketball selection committee will choose the dozen players who go to Rio.
The process will be difficult for all concerned. The 25 finalists include 15 players who have earned a combined 41 Olympic and world championship gold medals.
“I think the committee has a tough decision ahead of it,” said UConn coach Gino Auriemma, who will serve as U.S. coach for the second straight Olympics. “When I look at this list of athletes, we could split them down the middle and have two very competitive teams.
“We have a great mix of gold medalists and players who are hungry to play in their first Olympics. There is versatility at all positions. Our posts are the strongest we’ve seen in years. We have guys who can shoot, guys who can defend. I’m just happy I don’t have to make the decision as to who will be playing in Rio.”
Augustus, who played at LSU from 2003-06, and Fowles (2005-08) just completed a WNBA championship season with the Minnesota Lynx.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.