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LSU Forward Augustus Wins Wooden Award

April 10, 2005|Mike Terry | Times Staff Writer

Seimone Augustus made a clean sweep of the individual major awards for women's college basketball when she was presented with the John R. Wooden Award on Saturday.

The Louisiana State junior forward, who helped the Tigers reach a second consecutive Final Four, had also collected the Wade and Naismith trophies before accepting the Wooden Award at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

"This ranks at the top because it has John Wooden's name on it," Augustus said. "And he represents a lot, not just for men's basketball but also women's basketball as well. He's an icon as well as a legend."

LSU Coach Pokey Chatman said the number of awards and the amount of attention Augustus had received this year would not dull her desire to get the Tigers back in the hunt for a national championship.

"So much adulation came to Seimone at a young age," Chatman said, referring to her being on the cover of Sports Illustrated for Women at 14. "But nothing about her has changed, and that has to do with her work ethic.

"She doesn't read about herself a lot. She just wakes up every morning, comes to practice and tries to be the best player she can be."

In a nationwide vote of more than 200 sportswriters and women's college basketball experts, Augustus outdistanced the other four finalists: Monique Currie of Duke, Jessica Davenport of Ohio State, Janel McCarville of Minnesota and Kendra Wecker of Kansas State.

This is the second year the Wooden Award has been presented to women -- the men's award has been presented since 1976 -- and the first time the announcement was made on national television.

"This award says a lot about the women's game, how far it has come and where it's going," Currie said.

"It's definitely an honor to be honored by such a prestigious coach. It definitely says the women's game is making a lot of progress."

Said Ohio State Coach Jim Foster: "I think what separates this award from others is the fact that John Wooden is a big fan of women's basketball. He's been on record saying that ... and there is a real genuineness to his feelings about the game that's greatly appreciated by the coaches and the players."

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