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St. Charlesí Pokey is in the limelight

By Allen Lottinger -   Mar 30, 2006

The name of Pokey Chatman has meant basketball prowess in St. Charles Parish for years.

We watched the gal from Ama grow up, dribbling down the court in recreation basketball and on Hahnville Junior High and Hahnville High School teams.

Then she went off to LSU and continued that prowess as the state school was building a championship record in womenís basketball. She graduated from college but didnít leave the court. She continued as assistant coach and then as head coach of her team.

Now Pokey has continued what is becoming a tradition in womenís basketball at LSU. After championing the Elite Eight with a heart-thumping 62-59 win over Stanford Monday night, her team will enter the Final Four in Boston next week.

This will be the third straight Final Four for the Lady Tigers. The first one was played with of Sue Gunter as head coach who retired after an illness when Pokey took over.

Adding brightness to the glow is the fact that the menís basketball team at LSU will play its first game in the menís Final Four Saturday night. It will be the seventh time in history the same school has provided teams in both menís and womenís Final Fours. Only once in those years have the two teams from the same school won both games.

It looks good for the two LSU teams this year. They both beat major opponents in getting to the Final Fours. They stand a good chance of making history.

Besides having an interesting name, Pokey has a face that can mislead the viewer. Sometimes she looks sad when her team triumphs but she says that is deceiving. Underneath, she is proud of her team and happy about their successes.

Itís been a while since Pokey led her teams to victory in St. Charles Parish. But her coaching in nearby Baton Rouge makes us feel that she is still one of us and our most prominent citizen.

Hereís wishing her continued success in her young career. Weíll be watching and cheering for the gal we knew long ago as a champion on the court and off, as well.

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