An unexpected honor
Augustin finished his Brother Martin career as its all-time leading scorer (2,249 points) and guided the Crusaders to 5A state titles in 2004 and 2005. He was twice named The Times-Picayune New Orleans Player of the Year.
Augustin had to complete his senior year at Hightower High School in the Houston suburb of Missouri City, Texas, after Hurricane Katrina forced him and his family from New Orleans. But he received his diploma from Brother Martin as a member of the Class of 2006.
Augustin, who makes his home in Houston, said he’ll always be connected to the Crescent City, where he still has family.
“There are a lot of things that tie me back to New Orleans,” Augustin said.
A future project will strengthen those ties.
Augustin said he’s going to cover the cost of replacing Brother Martin’s gym floor, which is made of clay. The school recently underwent other renovations, including the installation of air conditioning, and the floor installation is next, Augustin said. He expects the work to begin next summer.
Being able to help his high school excites Augustin as much as having his jersey retired.
“It was a big part of my life. It’s just part of leaving a legacy,” he said. “That’s just another connection I have to New Orleans. My high school is like family.”
When Augustin, 32, was in middle school and high school, he looked up to New Orleans basketball stars Randy Livingston and Hollis Price.
Through they were older, Augustin eventually would become acquainted with Livingston, and often worked out with Price. Through those relationships, Augustin learned lessons in humility and the importance of giving back to the community.
“Just the things they did for the city. I just wanted to try to follow their lead,” Augustin said. “Those guys were really humble guys, down to earth. You’d see them in the community, see them in the neighborhood. Even when they went further in their careers they still came back and gave back to the city and that’s something I try to emulate today, 12 years later in the NBA.”
Augustin will become the first Crusader alumnus to officially have his jersey retired at the school, according to a news release.
“D.J. Augustin reached excellence in his years at Brother Martin High School, both on and off the basketball court, and has continued to be a strong presence for good for our school community,” former Brother Martin AD and director of school services Barry Hebert said in a news release.
“He is a man of character and a phenomenal athlete, he led by example and made everyone around him and our school community better because of his servant leadership.”