Seimone Augustus will return to Los Angeles for her second season with the Sparks.
Augustus first signed with L.A. last year as a free agent after 13 seasons in Minnesota. She averaged six points in nearly 16 minutes a game in 21 appearances, shot 49% from the field and 54.5% in three-pointers. She again became a free agent and re-upped to come back to the West Coast.
After a couple of seasons battling nagging injuries, “I surprised myself a little bit last year,” said Augustus in a Feb. 22 media conference call that included the MSR. “Everything was based on my physical health and mental health. To be here [in L.A.] again…I felt like I can help.”
She looks forward to playing in front of Sparks fans after last season’s Wubble experience in Florida in which all 12 WNBA teams competed due to COVID-19 precautions. The 6’-0” Baton Rouge, La. native said, “Everybody wants to enjoy a little bit of L.A. life. The culture here, even when I wasn’t playing here, this was one of the places that I loved to come to play. I just enjoy the environment, the food, the weather, the vibe of L.A.”
The number-one overall pick in 2006 by Minnesota, Augustus’ accomplishments include four WNBA crowns, eight All-Star Game appearances, five-time all-WNBA, and three-time Olympic gold medalist with USA Basketball. She currently is 10th all-time in league scoring.
“I didn’t even know last year that I shot the top three-point percentage,” admitted the 36-year-old Augustus, who successfully transitioned from being a franchise player to a valuable reserve and spot starter. “I just made plays and took the open shots, which is part of my game anyway.
“My role is just bringing knowledge and wisdom to the team, how to compete with a championship mindset,” Augustus said.
When a reporter asked of LA’s chances this season, Augustus said, “We don’t know, but every day we’re going to set goals for ourselves to get better at something defensively, offensively, game plan, scheming, and strategy of the game. We’re going to get better every day, and wherever that lands for us, we’re going to make the best of that situation.
“Every year in training camp, every team says the same thing: ‘We’re going to the championship.’ Some teams know how to do that and some teams don’t know how to do it. That team chemistry is key. Being able to have that attitude that when things get hard we don’t fall apart, we fall together.”
Bits and pieces
Four WNBA clubs are partners with a national health care group to address health inequities and social justice. Los Angeles, New York, Indiana and Atlanta last week announced a multi-year partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and their sister companies.
The partnership involves a number of community-based initiatives in social justice, health and wellness, food insecurity and mental health to help address longstanding racial and health inequities in “a truly unique partnership element, whenever the four teams meet during the WNBA season,” said an LA Sparks press release.
“Both teams will come together to host joint community activities that make an impact on health challenges in their respective cities.”
LA Sparks guard Seimone Augustus told the MSR last week, “To know that the Sparks have partnered with a company that will continue those efforts means a lot as a player. We’re thankful to be in a position that our organization allows this to happen and that will create the change that we hope to see in our world and our society.”
Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.