Ex-LSU athletes to compete in Europe

Ex-LSU athletes
to compete in Europe

Former LSU track and field athletes will be looking to shine in Europe in the coming days as five Tigers and Lady Tigers compete in IAAF Diamond League meets Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Saturday in Paris.

Newly crowned U.S. 200-meter champion Kimberlyn Duncan is among the headliners in Lausanne as she makes her Diamond League debut.

Joining Duncan during Thursday’s action are former Tigers national champion and three-time Olympic medalist Richard Thompson (100) and former Lady Tiger hurdler Lolo Jones.

Jones will be in a field featuring all three medalists from the 2012 Olympic Games. Jones is the No. 4-ranked sprint hurdler in the world with a seasonal best of 12.50 this year.

Former Lady Tigers national champion and reigning World Championships bronze medalist Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad & Tobago will compete in the women’s 100.

Damar Forbes, the NCAA Outdoor champion, competes in the men’s long jump Saturday.

Ex-Lady Tiger to coach at Ala. A&M

New Alabama A&M women’s basketball coach Semeka Randall has named former LSU standout Elaine Powell as an assistant on her staff.

Powell is no stranger to the Southwestern Athletic Conference. She was an assistant at Grambling from 2008-12. She joined Randall’s staff at Ohio University in 2012-13.

Before her coaching career, Powell spent almost a decade playing in the ABL, WNBA and the European League. She was a three-time WNBA champion with the Detroit Shock (2003, 2006, and 2008). Powell was the first LSU women’s basketball player drafted by a WNBA team. Powell earned All-Southeastern Conference honors twice during her career from 1995-97.

Longtime NW State coach Johnson retires

NATCHITOCHES — A feeling of thankfulness and pride from former athletes, friends and family filled the room Wednesday afternoon in a retirement ceremony for Northwestern State track and field coach Leon Johnson, who spent 31 years in the position.

Johnson started the school’s women’s track program in 1986.

Johnson coached 57 NCAA Division I All-Americans and 93 NCAA Outdoor Championship qualifiers. He was an eight-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year and won nine conference team championships.

UL-Lafayette hires assistant coaches

LAFAYETTE — The University of Louisiana-Lafayette athletic department announced the hiring of several assistant coaches Wednesday.

Luc Godin joins the Ragin’ Cajuns as a tennis assistant coach, after spending two seasons at Auburn with the women’s tennis team.

The soccer program will be adding two coaches to their staff. Kellie Murphy, a Lafayette native, will join the staff as an assistant coach, after a four-year career at LSU. Also joining the soccer program is Matt Gasser, who will be a volunteer assistant, working mainly with the goalkeepers.

Two staff members were promoted to full-time positions.

Cornelius Sullivan will be promoted from his current post of director of basketball operations into the role of assistant coach.

Also promoted to a full-time role is Freddie Glover, a former volunteer assistant with the track program.

Compiled from news releases

USA basketball
tops Serbia 71-62

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — Rasheed Sulaimon scored five points during a 7-0 run that opened up a double-figures lead and helped the United States to a 71-62 victory over previously unbeaten Serbia in the championship game of Pool F on Wednesday.

Team USA improved to 6-0 and is the only remaining undefeated team in the 16-team tourney.

Louisiana-Lafayette junior Elfrid Payton battled back from early foul trouble to play 23 minutes, scoring four points with two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Jahlil Okafor led Team USA with 16 points while Sulaimon added 15.