One of the great volleyball players in LSU history, Detra Brown Morgan helped the Tigers win back-to-back Southeastern Conference championships in 1985 and 1986. She still ranks fourth among the school’s all-time leaders in kills and eighth in digs.
Soon enough, Malik Morgan aims to make his own memories in the arena where his mother once soared above the volleyball net.
A senior shooting guard at John Curtis, Morgan became the first commitment of the LSU men’s basketball’s 2012 recruiting class back in August; he plans to sign with Trent Johnson’s Tigers at a signing ceremony in River Ridge on Wednesday morning.
Wednesday is the first day of the weeklong early signing period for basketball and other sports, including baseball and softball.
“I’ve always wanted to go there,” Morgan said. “It’s been my dream to stay in state and play for my home state.”
On the heels of signing McDonald’s All-American Johnny O’Bryant, Kentucky Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey and Pickering all-stater John Isaac, LSU has only the commitment of Morgan as the early signing period arrives.
Memphis (Tenn.) Central guard Danielle Ballard, listed by ESPN/HoopGurlz as the nation’s No. 24 prospect, leads the list of recruits expected to sign with the LSU women.
Ballard, a 5-foot-9 lefty, committed to the Lady Tigers in the summer after helping lead Memphis Central to the Class 3A state title as a junior. She scored 21 points in the state final as the Warriors completed a 29-9 season.
Morgan averaged 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Curtis last year, leading the Patriots to Class 2A’s quarterfinals. The versatile 6-4 guard is entering his fourth year as a varsity starter.
“LSU’s been the school of choice for him from when he was a little kid,” Curtis coach Mike Krajcer said. “It’s like a dream come true for him to go to LSU and play basketball.”
Coming off back-to-back 20-loss seasons, LSU opens the season Saturday against Nicholls State at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers return a veteran nucleus to go along with Iowa State transfer Justin Hamilton, and the trio of 2011 signees.
Morgan took his official visit to LSU in September and has been a regular at home football games. He said he feels like his future team is on the verge of breaking through.
“From what I’ve been hearing, they’ve turned it around already as it is,” Morgan said. “I’m just trying to come up there next year and make it even stronger.”
The regular signing period for basketball prospects is April 11-May 16. Prospects in sports other than football can sign with their respective schools during the early signing period.
Centreville Academy pitcher Hunter Devall and Parkview Baptist pitcher Russell Reynolds are among the baseball players expected to sign with LSU either Wednesday or later in the week.
Dutchtown pitcher Jacob Waguespack is set to sign with Ole Miss on Thursday. Another PBS pitcher, Colin Rodgers, is expected to sign with Auburn.
The list of other baseball players scheduled to sign include Denham Springs’ Kyle Cedotal (Southeastern Louisiana University), Zachary’s Jameson Fisher (Southeastern), Central Private’s Seth Stevens (Nicholls State), Zachary’s Tanner Hebert (Louisiana-Monroe) and Jackson resident Hunter Travis of Centreville (Louisiana Tech).
Also, St. Amant High softball player Gabby Felps is scheduled to sign with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Advocate sportswriter Robin Fambrough contributed to this report.