Franklinton’s Pope signs with Stephen F. Austin University

Published 2:05 pm Friday, January 4, 2019

Franklinton senior T.Y. Pope signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Stephen F. Austin and play basketball.
“What really stuck out to me is that they’re family,” Pope said. “They always would be family and I was welcomed into there. I was really a stranger to them and they welcomed me in their home and ate like crazy. I ate at least five times.”
Pope has proven to be a solid player in his time at Franklinton on both ends of the court.
“With them, they want me to play the power forward and the small forward and that’s really my game, rebounding, scoring and all that,” Pope said.
Pope started several games his freshman season and has been a full-time starter the last three seasons.
This season, Pope is averaging a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds per game. He is also blocking four shots per contest and dishing out four assists.
Pope has been a first-team all-district 8-4A player the last two seasons and was the league’s Most Valuable Player last year.
Pope is the Class of 2019’s fourth-ranked player in the state by
Franklinton coach Brad Oestriecher, who is in his third season with the team, praised Pope.
“Obviously, they’re getting a great basketball player,” Oestriecher said. “They’re getting a better human. He’s somebody who’s going to be successful at no matter what he does. He’s a hard-working kid, he’s got a huge heart and I’m just so proud of him and happy for him. This is not an ending, but a beginning for him.”
Stephen F. Austin, which is located in Nacogdoches, Texas, has had plenty of success over the years.
Since the 2012-13 season, the Lumberjacks are 169-46 with four conference tournament titles and three regular season conference titles.
SFA has been tough at home in those seven seasons with a 92-6 mark.
This year, the Lumberjacks are 8-5.
Local fans will want to keep an eye on Stephen F. Austin’s schedule following this season, as there will opportunities to see Pope in person without having to make long drives. SFA plays in the Southland Conference, which has Southeastern Louisiana and the University of New Orleans and a few other teams from Louisiana.
Pope plans on majoring in computer science and hopes to be a computer engineer.