Chatman accepts coaching job in Russia

By Amy Brittain The Daily Reveille

August 20, 2007

Baton Rouge, LA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- Former LSU women's basketball coach Pokey Chatman confirmed late Thursday to The Daily Reveille that she will accept a position with a professional women's basketball squad in Russia.

Chatman, who resigned in early March amid allegations of inappropriate conduct with one or more former players, said she will take an associate head coach position with the Spartak Moscow Region team. The squad boasts high-profile WNBA players such as Tina Thompson, Lauren Jackson, Sue Bird, and Diana Taurasi.

"There's a reason why I chose this [position]," Chatman said. "I'm at the highest level coaching the best players in the world. [Thompson] said 'Pokey, they make it so accommodating ... we are away from home, but we have everything we need.'"

Chatman will join the Spartak Moscow Region team in October and will coach additional public basketball camps in Louisiana until her departure.

Chatman said the Spartak Moscow Region team owner met several months ago with Thompson and other prominent players to ask who they thought was the best coaching prospect for the position.

Chatman said Thompson told her that she was the general consensus.

"It's nice to know that some of the best players in the world put your name on the short list," Chatman said.

Chatman said the offer is not the first to arise, as in May she was offered a Division 1 women's basketball coaching position and has considered other offers.

Chatman's new position will pit her against her former LSU standout Seimone Augustus, who plays for the Russian Basketball Super League's Dynamo Moscow team during the WNBA off-season.

"Here's what I know ... she is going to score," Chatman joked of the challenge to stop Augustus. "I will not get upset when she does score."

(C) 2007 The Daily Reveille via CSTV U-WIRE