INDIANAPOLIS — Seimone Augustus has lived out her dreams on some of the world’s largest basketball stages and is the youngest inductee in the 2019 National High School Sports Hall of Fame class. Instead of just recounting memories, the former Capitol High and LSU star explained her dreams and urged young athletes to follow theirs.
“I didn’t know at five years old I’d be sitting here with these wonderful people being inducted into the high school hall of fame,” Augustus said. “I just had an unwavering belief in myself that something was going to happen and that doors were going to open. So stay confident and stay faithful to the dream.”
Augustus’ comments came during a news conference for the inductees Saturday at the JW Marriott hotel. The induction ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday. Former Major League Baseball standout and manager Dusty Baker and Indiana basketball star Damon Bailey were the other big names on hand. Ex-NFL standout Derrick Brooks will join the 12-member induction class for the ceremony.
Still a couple of weeks away from returning to the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx after knee surgery, the 35-year-old Augustus made points that resonated with the media and others on hand for the National Federation of High Schools annual convention. She complimented the other inductees and referred to Baker as “Mr. Baker” as she referenced comments she made earlier while fielding questions.
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“Each court I played on presented a different challenge. I learned a lot,” Augustus said. “I mostly grew up playing against guys. The speed, the quickness the agility — I had to be quick at learning those things so I could better myself. That was all a part of my community, the free rec centers were within my community where I could afford to play.
“I never forgot the lessons I learned through those journeys. And to answer the question about what would I tell a young girl starting out — just be strong, be confident in yourself. There are a lot of obstacles ahead of you. Never waiver in your belief of what you can do and ability that you have. There is a way to make it happen.”
Augustus is the first female athlete from Baton Rouge to be inducted. She is first local inductee since Catholic High track/cross country coach Pete Boudreaux was inducted in 2016. Augustus scored 3,600 points at Capitol and led the Lions to two Class 4A LHSAA titles and a 138-7 record of four years. She went on to star at LSU, has won three Olympic gold medals and has helped the Lynx win four WNBA titles.
Augustus joins Hammond native and Baylor coach Kim Mulkey as Louisiana’s lone female basketball players in the 482-member NFHS hall of fame. A return to Indianapolis is notable for Augustus too. She came to Indianapolis for a national Elks Hoop Shoot competition. In 2005, Augustus received the first of her two National Player of the Year honors and led the Lady Tigers to a Final Four, where they lost to Mulkey’s Baylor team in the semifinals.