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“I’m most proud of [Augustus] of anybody else that’s on the team right now,” said Auriemma, Connecticut’s coach since 1985. “She worked so hard to rehab her knee, she worked so hard to overcome some of the injuries she had and some of the illnesses that she had … when she showed up at training camp in Las Vegas, it was like a different person. How could we not take her, you know?”

Last weekend Augustus was one of five American women to participate in a skills clinic for daughters of military members at D.C. Armory. She led the ball-handling station and showed off the crossover that teammate Lindsay Whalen called “unbelievable” and “unmatched.” Throughout the clinic, a wide smile never left her face.

Doctors had to remove Augustus‘ uterus as part of the fibroid surgery two years ago, preventing her from ever carrying a child of her own. She still is interested in having children, most likely through in vitro fertilization, but conceded the realization that she can’t have them in a traditional way has been difficult.

“It’s tough for me,” Augustus said. “But you know, science has come a long way, and I’m able to do other things … it’s still possible for me to have kids, and I will go down that journey [one day].”

That day will have to wait until after the London Olympics. Right now, that’s the only journey Augustus has in mind. Injuries and illness deterred her playing career, but they could only keep her off the court for so long.

“Coach Auriemma and the rest of the staff here with USA Basketball assured me that if I continue to work hard and continue to get myself back into tip-top shape that I have a great opportunity to possibly make this team,” she said. “That’s what I wanted to do, and here I am fighting for another gold medal.”