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41 Mark Pope

mark pope
Mark Pope
Hometown (Last School)
Bellevue, WA (Newport)
1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96
September 11, 1972

Mark Pope was born Mark Edward Pope on September 11, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska to Don and Linda Pope.

He played college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats, where he was part of the Wildcats 1996 championship team, and the Washington Huskies, where he was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. He later played professionally in the National Basketball Association for the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Denver Nuggets.

Pope starred at Newport High School in Bellevue, Washington, where he was regarded as the best big man in the state of Washington as a senior.  He was named a Converse All-American, and Gatorade, Naismith and McDonald’s Player-of-the-Year honors for the state of Washington.

Pope played for two years at the University of Washington (UW). He earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors in 1992 after setting a UW freshman single-season record with 8.1 rebounds per game. He led the team in rebounds and was fourth in the PAC-10.  He also led the team in field goal percentage, hitting 57.9 percent.  He held the Washington and PAC-10 single-season freshman rebounding record with 234.  Pope finished third among all-time UW freshmen scorers with 300 points.  He recorded seven double-doubles (double figure scoring and rebounding) and led Washington in rebounding in 17 of 29 games.  He also hit 6-of-7 three-point attempts.

Following his sophomore campaign, Pope transferred to Kentucky where he played for Rick Pitino. After redshirting in 1993-94, Pope played in all 33 games, starting eight as a junior at Kentucky.  He made his first UK start against UCLA (12 pts., 8 reb., 2 ast.).  He led the team in rebounding with 6.3 rebounds per game.  Pope scored a career-high 19 points against Auburn during the SEC Tournament.  He finished  that tourney with 47 points and 28 rebounds, earning All-Tournament Team honors.  Pope was named Player of the Game five times — vs. Ohio, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Florida and earned Mr. Hustle, Student-Athlete and Best Rebounder Awards from the team following the season.  After achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA in the fall semester, he was named GTE District IV Academic All-American and third-team GTE Academic All-American.  Pope was also was named to the ’95 SEC Men’s Basketball Academic Honor Roll.

Pope helped the Wildcats win back-to-back SEC titles, advance to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1995, and win the NCAA National title in 1996. Pope earned Academic All-SEC honors in 1995 and graduated from Kentucky with a degree in English in 1996.

Pope was a second-round pick of the Indiana Pacers in the 1996 NBA draft.

Pope and his wife, Lee Anne, a former assistant to talk show host David Letterman, have four daughters. Lee Anne is the daughter of the late Lynn Archibald, who was the head basketball coach at the University of Utah from 1983 to 1989 and was an assistant at BYU in the 1990s.

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