Seimone Augustus Rookie Diary

Thursday, July 6:

The biggest adjustment moving here from back home in Louisiana is the weather. Yíall really spoiled me up here because itís not as humid as it is back home; the heat follows you. Here itís just beautiful and itís a nice windy day. The food up here is another big adjustment. I still havenít found a soul food restaurant that has all the spices that we have down south, but other than that the Twin Cities is a beautiful place. If I could get some Cajun food up here, it would be tremendous. Iím not saying they donít have any; I just havenít found it yet.

Other than the weather and the food, everything else is the same: the people, the hospitality. You would think you were down south the way our fans treat us, the way they support us, the way you get out into the community where everybody embraces you. As far as the food and stuff, thatís like the only difference. Everything else feels like Iím still down south.

Iíll be in Russia during the Winter time. I donít want to be stuck here in Minnesota. Iíve heard about this weather here. Maybe in the future when Iím not going overseas and playing for eight months, and Iím only over there for like three months, Iíll be here and actually get to experience the winter weather. This summer Iím playing with a Russian league team in Moscow. Itís the same team that Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird played on, last year or the year before.

As far as things that have surprised me about the Twin Cities, I havenít seen any big movie theatersówe have a movie theater on every corner back home, and I havenít seen any skating rinks either. Maybe itís because I havenít been around. And hangout places--I know about Gameworks, but back home we have a lot of places to go to hang out. But other than that, itís just like back home as far as the scenery. Iíve been outside of downtown now and Iíve seen the woods and the lakes and stuff. It looks the same way. Itís probably the perfect thing for meóto be in an area where it reminds me of home, as well as be here with great teammates and great people.

Tuesday, June 20:

Itís always tough to lose. I donít think anybody wants to lose any games, but you have to look at it as a learning process. The coaches are always saying how young we are and how we still have a lot to learn. So we need to just learn from our mistakes and try to come back each and every game and make up for those mistakes. Itís always tough to deal with a loss.

Sometimes I look at the way people always say weíre young and I think itís an excuse. We have too much talent on this team to keep using the fact that weíre a young team as the reason why weíre losing. We have players like [Nicole] Ohlde and [Kristin] Mann and Vanessa [Hayden] and players like that who can create and probably be great players in this league. You just have to grow from it, but to keep using the fact that weíre young as an excuse is not acceptable. We have great players on this team.

Anytime we can have a post presence is always key, but anytime we can get [Nicole] Ohlde playing well, it helps us out as far as getting our motion offense going and getting the perimeter players going. Itís much easier for us to score because the defense has to pay a lot of attention to her. She has great hands. She has great footwork. She can score whenever she feels like it. Itís always a plus when she has good games because our flow is a little bit better because weíre able to move around and get into gaps and feel free to roam. That creates tough situations for the defense.

My typical post-game routine is probably to go out to NBA City. They set up the Xbox and stuff like that in their little room. Or if the NBA Finals game is going on, weíll watch the game. But mostly after the games itís me, Vanessa [Hayden], Chandi [Jones], and Tynesha [Lewis] playing video games for the remainder of the nightójust hanging out. In NBA City, we play NBA Live. When weíre at Vanessaís house, we play Madden.

Tuesday, June 13:

People donít know that I really donít set goals. I just go out and play. A lot of people think that because youíre the number one pick, youíre going to have this goal; youíre going to be rookie of the year, youíre going to do this, youíre going to do that. I just mainly go out and play basketball and let everything else work itself out as far as what people think or if I exceeded what everybody else expected of me.

If there is one goal that I set itís to make an impact and try be the best player in this league or be mentioned as one of the best players in this league.

I think the toughest thing about the WNBA so far as been the travel. We might play a back-to-back or weíll fly here, then take a day off and fly somewhere else. Itís very tough and it wears on your body, but I think the key thing is to make sure you got a lot of rest, make sure you keep a lot of fluids in your body and things like that. Thatís probably the toughest thing. As far as in the games, the caliber of players that we are playing every night is amazing. Weíre going up against some of the top players in the world. So you have to be ready every night. Thatís the mental aspect of the game that I need to keep consistent. I canít come out one night and have a bad game or not be focused. I need to be focused every night.

The Indiana playóI guess I thought about it like practice. We have a lot of special situations that we work on like last second shots or clutch shots that we need to make. I know Coach didnít want the ball in anybody elseís hands. I wouldnít have wanted the ball in anybody elseís hands. I just felt like I had to make sure I created a shot that I knew I could make. I just took the shot. I felt confident afterwards because I made it. I think that was my first big-time shot on this level and I felt good about it.

The steal in San AntonioóI didnít even know that it was a crucial play of the game. I was just playing, really. I guess now as I look back on it, it was a crucial play; it kind of set the momentum for us because they started to come back with thirty-some seconds left in the game.

As a team, weíre just trying to keep our momentum going. I think right now our chemistry is working great. We canít relax.

Tuesday, May 16:

Hopefully we will be successful enough to win some games and do some great things this season. The two exhibition games are a good sign of what we can do scoring on the offensive end. I wonít have to score 25-30 points a game for us to win because I think we have the talent to compete.

Amber has been looking to penetrate, and she has a comfort zone spotting up for the three, so when people pay attention to me, itís going to help get her open. Sheís going to be able to create her own shot, get a three, or get it to our post players as well.

I havenít had to adjust to the 24-second shot clock because the way we run our offense, if we can get a quality shot early in the shot clock, then that is what weíre going to do. I donít think we ever got down to the last couple seconds where we had to throw up a desperation shot because we were able to get a quality shot early in the shot clock.

I feel great on the defensive end of the court. Saturday night I had to play against Betty Lennox, who is one of the best players in the league. For the most part I think I contained her as well as possible, as least enough for us to get the lead! The game before that I had to guard Diana Taurasi, and everybody knows what Diana can do. So far I feel comfortable with what I can do on the defensive end, as well as guarding the best players on the other team.

I expect a lot of energy and hype for our opener against Connecticut. I think weíre ready to get out and compete. Itís time for us to get out and play other teams. Our second game is against Detroit, so we really start against a couple good teams. Itís important for us to get off to a strong start against Connecticut, and try to set a tone for the rest of the season and going into Detroit.

Wednesday, April 26:

Practice has been tough, but itís not that different from LSU. We practiced really hard at LSU, so itís kind of the same. As far as the drills and the other things we do, theyíre the same, but itís just tougher competition because Iím going against some of the best players in the league. Itís a great experience for me, because having to be ready for practice is like getting ready for a game.

It definitely feels normal to me during practice now; it feels like my team. It felt normal after two days with the way that the other players made me feel. I was comfortable once I got here the first day, but as days go by your bond with your teammates and become a little bit stronger and your bond with the coaching staff becomes a little bit stronger. As long as you feel comfortable, youíre going to fit in anywhere.

It seems like everybody is in great shape right now, so we donít have to do much conditioning during practice. Whether you came from overseas or wherever you came from I think you would be in good enough shape to come here and run up and down the court. Itís not so much getting on the line and running or doing suicides during practice, itís more Xs and Os right now. Weíre trying to get our offense down and get the chemistry down as far as knowing where Ohlde likes the ball, where I like the ball, where Shona or AJ wants to be on the court in order to be effective; but at the same time, we do go up and down against each other or against the men and I donít see the conditioning level going down, I think weíre where we need to be and itís all going to get better as training camp goes on.

As a rookie, I really look to the veterans during training camp, I kind of feed off of them. Theyíve been here before and they know what to do and what not to do and Iím trying to follow in their footsteps as far as listening to their advice about what I should do. Lately itís just been Ďshoot the ball,í because Iíve just been passing and trying to learn the offense. But Iím getting more comfortable with actually taking the shots and doing what I need to do to help the team.

My mom just got into town today so tonight weíre going grocery shopping and will probably go around the town a little. Sheís actually surprised that I knew the city as well as I did after only two or three days. Iíve flown into the state, Iíve been around downtown and Iíve been to the airport, so she was proud to know that. I havenít been away from home all my life and now Iím here in a strange atmosphere and Iím able to adapt the way I have, so sheís very proud of me.

One nice thing about being in the WNBA is not having to do homework. You just donít know how great it feels to come in and do your job and go home to do whatever else you have to do after practice. Itís a great feeling to know that all my hard work has paid off so that now I can actually enjoy basketball and go home and relax.

Monday April 24, 2006:

It feels great to finally start training camp after all thatís been going on for me the last couple of weeks. Iím glad Iím here and getting settled and now all I have to focus on is getting better as an individual basketball player and helping my team get better as far as chemistry and that stuff goes.

Coming off of the NCAA Womenís Final Four, it feels like Iím starting a whole new season right away. Everybody has been talking about the fatigue and the wear and tear on your body, but itís a new experience so your adrenaline is going to be rushing because you donít know what to expect. You just have to be ready to play even though you just finished a season.

As a part of this new Lynx team, with a bunch of new, young players, it feels like weíve been together for years, probably because of the personalities of the girls on this team. Tamika is great at making everybody feel comfortable and at home. Itís the same way for Vanessa. I donít think anybody feels out of place, I think everybody feels that family atmosphere; everybody feels like you can come and talk to any one of the players and express your feelings at any given time. This early in the season, itís nice that nobody has any discomfort. We havenít had a chance as a team to do something outside of basketball yet, but Chandi, Vanessa and I went to the grocery store last night. I think weíll do something with the whole team tonight or later on this week.

One thing that will be different for me will be the adjustment to playing against players that have been in the pros for such a long time. The biggest thing Iíve heard so far from a lot of veteran players in the WNBA is that the defensive part of the league is very very physical. Iím going to have to be able to take some contact and some fouls that maybe donít get called. I will just have to stay focused and continue to play within myself and within the game.

Another adjustment will be playing against players that Iíve looked up to while growing up, which Iím very excited about. Itís something that I will have to be ready for because Iíll be going up against some of the best players in the world, like Lisa Leslie and all those players. Iím going to try not to act so star-struck the first time Iím on the court with them and standing next to them.

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