It’s possible that the only people who travel more than Phish fans are women’s basketball players. And if you are a 6’1” basketball player like Seimone Augustus, you pray for the legroom of the emergency exit row.
Frequent flyer miles aren’t the only thing Augustus has been collecting; she’s racked up championships galore throughout her journey. After guiding the Minnesota Lynx to the WNBA title in 2011, Augustus spent her off-season playing for WBC Spartak Moscow Region in Russia, where women’s basketball players earn more than they do in the States. “It gets a little rough,” Augustus says. “We’d love to have three months off in the summer like the guys do, but that’s not possible for us right now.” This August, Augustus also helped lead the U.S. women’s basketball to gold in London.
While the travel may be difficult and the season never-ending, Augustus understands that she is living a pretty amazing experience. “You got to look on the bright side. We are traveling and seeing more stuff than most people see in a lifetime. You have to enjoy that. Plus, we get to play basketball, which is what we love to do,” Augustus says.
It takes an extraordinary work ethic to keep going and going without losing one’s mind. Augustus credits her parents and grandparents for raising her the right way and pays homage to their work through her ink. Her first tattoos were her grandmothers’ names on her ankles. To honor her mother, Augustus went for a full sleeve on her right arm. “It’s something really girly, flowers and water. To me it means peace and tranquility,” Augustus says. “My mom was always the peacemaker in the family. While playing basketball with my dad we would go at each other a bit, and my mom was always the one to keep the peace in the house.” When it came to designing the tattoo, Augustus wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted. “I just knew I wanted something that looked different so that when I walked down the street I wouldn’t see anyone else with it. I let the artist freestyle with it,” Augustus says. What Tommy Reif of 555 Studios in Minneapolis came up with certainly does stand out, and it’s a fitting tribute for sure.
Basketball has taken Augustus from her hometown of Baton Rouge, LA, all over the world, and the work is hard and exhausting. But even in Moscow during the dead of winter, Augustus can look at the beautiful artwork on her skin and she is right back in Louisiana with the family that made her who she is today.