Seimone Augustus is here to tell you this never gets old.
The WNBA announced the reserves for Saturday’s All-Star Game in Seattle on Tuesday evening. To nobody’s surprise, the Lynx guard was named a reserve for the Western Conference. It marks the seventh time she has been named to an all-star team since she entered the league in 2006. Because there is no All-Star Game during Olympic seasons, that means she has been named an All-Star seven times out of a possible eight.
“It’s always special,” Augustus said. “I really don’t have the words. You put in the work and hope people will recognize it. I mean, my numbers aren’t career highs. I’m not scoring 20 points a game. But there are other things people appreciate, the efficiency. That part of my game has come on.”
Augustus will not be alone in Seattle. She will join center Sylvia Fowles and forward Maya Moore, who were voted in as starters. Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve will be coaching the Western Conference team for the third time since coming to Minnesota in 2010.
Moore also will be among the participants for the three-point shooting contest, which will be held at halftime.
Since 2011, the Lynx have been represented in the All-Star Game by multiple players each year it’s been held. Minnesota sent four players in 2011 and 2013, and three players in 2014 and 2015.
Augustus’ 3.3 assists per game this season are a career high. Not counting the 2009 season, in which she was limited to six games because of injuries, she also is posting career highs in shooting percentage (52.2) and three-point shooting (46.7). She is one free throw made away from having a rare 50-40-90 percent shooting season.
Reeve says Augustus’ decision to not play overseas between WNBA seasons is a big reason for her strong offensive start. But here’s another: Fowles, the 6-6 MVP candidate. Her play, plus the threat Moore poses, has forced teams to first plan for those two.
“I can’t imagine there have been many times in [Augustus’] career when she wasn’t No. 1 or No. 2 on the other team’s scouting report,” Reeve said. “I think that has a lot to do with it. I think the game is easier for Seimone.”
Augustus clearly is getting more open shots and being forced to create her own shot less often. Her willingness to pass has kept the Lynx atop the WNBA in offensive play.
Moore said she is impressed with Augustus’ willingness to do whatever the team needs. Moore remembered her rookie season in 2011, when Augustus always wanted to take the tougher defensive assignment to help the rookie acclimate to the league.
“This year, she is involved offensively, whether it’s passing or taking the shot. Though, every now and then, she’ll show everybody she’s Seimone Augustus and still has it.”
• Tiffany Hayes, G, Atlanta
• Jasmine Thomas, G, Conn.
• Ellena Delle Donne, C, Wash.
• Tina Charles, F, New York
• Jonquel Jones, F, Connecticut
• Layshia Clarendon, G, Atlanta
• Stefanie Dolson, C-F, Chicago
• Candice Dupree, F, Indiana
• Allie Quigley, G, Chicago
• Alyssa Thomas, F, Conn.
• Elizabeth Williams, F, Dream
•Sue Bird, G, Seattle
• Diana Taurasi, G, Phoenix
• Sylvia Fowles, C, Lynx
• Maya Moore, F, Lynx
• Candice Parker, F, L.A.
• Seimone Augustus, G, Lynx
• Skylar Diggins-Smith, G, Dallas
• Chelsea Gray, G, L.A.
• Brittney Griner, C, Phoenix
• Nneka Ogwumike, F, L.A.
• Breanna Stewart, F, Seattle