INDIANAPOLIS — Life is always about journeys. It may be a path less traveled, a route to fulfillment or perhaps even a dead-end road.
As I watched Seimone Augustus speak during the news conference for the National High School Sports Hall of Fame, I got one of those reminders we all need from time to time. The kind that hits you like a slap in the face.
Yes, the most important journey needs to be the one you are on.
We all tend to move on from one journey or task to the other without processing or appreciating everything that transpires.
Augustus talked about pulling out old VHS tapes to look at games played and photo albums that chronicled her career at Capitol. These items stand the test of time just as much as Augustus’ accomplishments for Capitol High, LSU, the U.S. Olympic team and the Minnesota Lynx do.
However, some events and athletes transcend the test of time. Augustus is one of them. I am fortunate that my path has paralleled hers at different times. It is what sportswriters do, after all.
Augustus was nine years old and was already winning awards and making a name for herself the first time I met her. She was seated and the first thing I noticed were her long legs that stretched under a table and the large white Converse basketball shoes she was wearing.
Could her feet grow into all the expectations, I wondered. My answer came soon enough. Augustus changed the culture of girls basketball in Baton Rouge and beyond. At the time, girls basketball needed that wakeup call.
It did not matter where Capitol played — the gym was packed. Fans watched for the signature cross-over dribble and the no-look pass just like I did. The night a record-setting number of fans packed Southeastern Louisiana University’s University Center to watch back-to-back title-game wins by Southern Lab and Capitol is still one of the most incredible things I’ve witnessed in sports.
Will there be someone else like Augustus for girls basketball in Louisiana? I sure hope so and so does Augustus, who is seeking ways to impact and improve the sport locally for boys and girls.
That girl who wore pigtails as a high school freshman is all grown up and hopes to return to the Minnesota lineup within a couple of weeks as her knee heals from surgery.
I am thankful for the chance to witness this part of her journey. It has been quite a ride for all of us.
The Instagram picture of Augustus wearing her Capitol jersey to a game last month in Minnesota has made the rounds. She said it is part of her final rotation.
“I’ve got a bunch of jerseys I need to get framed,” Augustus said. “I just found it (Capitol jersey) in my closet and thought why not wear it one more time.”
She has also worn an LSU jersey and others, including a jersey from her first season with the Lynx, when green was a dominant team color, to Lynx games. Up next? Her McDonald’s All-American game jersey.
Central High seeks a football coach certified to teach social studies. Multiple teaching spots are available. Contact Central head coach/athletic director Sid Edwards by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Tara High seeks coaches to fill multiple openings. The list includes: head baseball coach, head girls/boys cross country coach, a head and an assistant wrestling coach, a head and an assistant track coach and an assistant softball coach.
Certified math and science teachers are sought. Some positions may be nonfaculty. Contact Tara athletic director Barry Jackson at email@example.com or assistant principal Robert Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.