BATON ROUGE -- Seimone Augustus, the 2011 WNBA Finals' Most Valuable Player of the Minnesota Lynx, headlines a list of five former LSU women's basketball players who are on opening day rosters for the 2012 WNBA season, which got underway this past weekend.
Other standouts include: Chicago Sky center Sylvia Fowles, Connecticut Sun guard Allison Hightower, Tulsa Shock point guard Temeka Johnson and Shock forward Scholanda Robinson.
LSU ranks second in the Southeastern Conference with five players on WNBA rosters. Tennessee leads the way with 10.
Augustus and the Lynx seek to defend their WNBA championship after besting the Atlanta Dream in three games last season. The former national college player of the year was named a WNBA All-Star and the Finals MVP, putting up 24.7 points per game in the Finals.
Augustus, now in her seventh WNBA season, ranks third in WNBA career scoring with 19.6 points per contest. She poured in a game-high 19 points in a season-opening win over the Phoenix Mercury in a nationally televised game on Sunday.
Fowles had the most productive season of her career last year with Chicago. She ranked third in the league in scoring (20.0 ppg) and second in rebounding (10.2 ppg). Fowles begins her fifth WNBA season and she has been an All-Star in her last three seasons. In a recent survey by WNBA general managers, Fowles was voted the best center in the league.
Fowles opened up the 2012 campaign with 23 points and 12 rebounds as Chicago rolled past the the Washington Mystics, 69-57, on Saturday night.
Both Augustus and Fowles are also members of the United States Olympic Team which seeks to defend its gold medal at the 2012 London Games in August.
Johnson and Robinson, former teammates at LSU, have been re-united in Tulsa this season. Johnson is joining her fourth team in her eighth overall season in the league. She spent the past three years with Phoenix -- winning a WNBA title in 2009 - and she passed the 1,000 career assist mark last year. Robinson signed with Tulsa as a free agent in February after one season in San Antonio.
Hightower begins her third WNBA season with Connecticut. The Sun is the favorite to win the Eastern Conference and contend for a WNBA championship.