First-year Grambling State University women’s head basketball coach Donnita Drain announced today the addition of WNBA veteran Elaine Powell to her coaching staff.
“I’m delighted to have Elaine as the newest addition to the Lady Tiger basketball staff,” said Drain. “She knows how to win and has been a part of winning programs her entire basketball career, starting at LSU, overseas and the WNBA. Coach Powell has three world championships with the Detroit Shock and we know that her championship mentality will rub off on our program. She brings a wealth of basketball experience to our staff and seems to have made a seamless transition into our program.”
A native of Monroe, La., Powell prepped at Carroll High School and earned a basketball scholarship to Pearl River Community College in Pearl River, Miss. While attending Pearl River, Powell was a 1995 Kodak All-American and led the Lady Wildcats to a regional championship along with a spot in the national tournament.
After her career at Pearl River came to a close, Powell transferred to LSU and helped put the Lady Tigers back on the national map as she led LSU to its first NCAA Tournament and Sweet 16 Appearance in five seasons during the 1996-97 campaign with a 25-5 mark. Also during that season, Powell was named to the Bahamas Shootout All-Tournament Team in addition to earning national player of the week honors. Powell, who averaged 19.1 points and shot 48 percent during her two years at LSU, was also a two-time All-SEC and Louisiana Sportswriters Association honoree along with being named the LSWA’s Newcomer of the Year in 1996.
Powell was the first player in LSU history drafted by the WNBA as the Orlando Miracle selected her in the fourth round of the 1999 WNBA Draft. She spent three-and-a-half seasons in Orlando before joining the Detroit Shock midway through the 2002 season. As a member of the Shock, Powell became a valuable member of the organization by leading the team to three WNBA World Championships in 2003, 2006 and 2008. Off the court, Powell made her presence felt in the community as she was awarded the 2002-03 WNBA off-season Community Assist Award for extensive community outreach.
An aspiring coach, Powell graduated from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and has also played professionally overseas.
What others are saying about Elaine Powell:
“E.P. has played a huge part in setting the foundation for our championship runs over the last several years. She’s a great floor leader, locker room person and an all-around individual. She also values the idea of giving back to the community and was very active in the area during the offseason which is a reflection of her character.”
– Cheryl Reeve, Director of Player Personnel/Assistant Coach, Detroit Shock
“Elaine is very smart, intelligent and knows the game well. She was the starting point guard for us and had a lot of responsibility such as putting people in their correct spots and making sure everyone is ready to execute the plays. She has done a great job with the Shock over the years and I know she’ll be successful at Grambling.”
– Rick Mahorn, Assistant Coach, Detroit Shock