BYU Coach Mark Pope’s Daughter, Ella, Featured In General Conference Talk

Apr 5, 2020, 1:38 PM | Updated: 4:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A basketball player at Ohio University was featured in one of the talks during the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That girl, Ella, is the daughter of BYU coach Mark Pope.

The speaker was Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon, who was speaking on following the Savior’s example of shining light. Sister Cordon gave two examples of people who did that. One of them was Ella.

Ella left to serve a mission for the Latter-day Saint church this past January where she is serving in Ecuador. The moment she received her mission call letter, she opened the letter in front of her Ohio Bobcats teammates. That moment was what Sister Cordon discussed in her talk.

“The second story is about Ella, a collegiate basketball player. Her example began when she received her mission call while she was away at school. She chose to open her call in front of her team. They knew almost nothing about The Church of Jesus Christ and didn’t understand Ella’s desire to serve,” said Cordon. “She prayed repeatedly how to explain her mission call in a way that her teammates may feel the spirit. Her answer, ‘I made a PowerPoint,’ Ella said. ‘Because I’m just that cool.’

“She told them about the potential of serving in one of the 400-plus missions and possibly learning a language. She highlighted the thousands of missionaries already serving. Ella ended with a picture of the Savior and with this brief testimony, ‘Basketball is one of the most important things in my life. I moved across the country and I left my family to play for this coach and with this team. The only two things that are more important to me than basketball are my faith and my family.'”

When Ella left for the Missionary Training Center in January, Mark Pope was excited for his daughter saying, “she’s an extraordinary human being,” and that she was “going to do special things” on her mission.

“We are excited for Ella and happy for her,” Ohio head coach Bob Boldon said. “We knew that this was a possibility in the recruiting process and we encouraged it. This is something that is very important to Ella and we want what is best for her. We want all of our student-athletes to follow their passions.”

Ella is the oldest of Mark Pope’s four daughters that also includes Avery, Layla, and Shay. Prior to arriving at Ohio, Pope was an All-Region performer at Timpview High School ini Provo, where she averaged 13.8 points and 7.2 rebounds for T-Birds in her senior season.

You can watch General Conference on KSL 5 TV and listen to General Conference on KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM, 1160 AM.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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