KENNESAW, Ga. — Former Pine Bluff High School and Mississippi State basketball standout Nitra Perry is now a head coach in Division I.

KENNESAW, Ga. — Former Pine Bluff High School and Mississippi State basketball standout Nitra Perry is now a head coach in Division I.

Perry, who spent the past four seasons as an assistant at Toledo, has been named head coach at Kennesaw State, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. She takes over a team that went 14-17 last season and will return 97 percent of its scoring and all five starters.

“I think it is a very special place that is on the verge of some great things,” Perry said in a school release. “We want to win the Atlantic Sun Conference championship, and we aren’t afraid to put that out there and say that.”

Perry, 33, graduated from Pine Bluff in 1996, a year after the Fillies won the state championship in what was then Class AAAA. She played at Mississippi State from 1996-2000, scoring 1,124 points and earning honorable mention All-SEC honors her last two seasons.

She played professionally in Portugal, Italy and in the U.S. in the National Women’s Basketball League before joining the coaching ranks in 2004 as an administrative assistant at Georgia Tech. Her coaching resume includes stops at Mississippi State (2006-08) and Toledo, where the Rockets went 96-40 in her time there.

Former Golden Lion joins LSU staff

BATON ROUGE, La. — Former Arkansas-Pine Bluff basketball player Shawn Forrest has been hired as part of Johnny Jones’ first staff at LSU.

Forrest, a Little Rock native who graduated from UAPB in 1998, was on Jones’ staff at North Texas for the past four seasons. He also spent six years at Arkansas State, where he was interim head coach for part of the 2007-08 season.