BYU Basketball Holds Latter-day Saint Devotional For Oklahoma Youth

Feb 4, 2024, 11:09 PM

BYU Basketball, Devotional, Oklahoma...

BYU basketball forward Richie Saunders speaks during a Latter-day Saint devotional in Norman, Oklahoma. (Courtesy of BYU Athletics)

(Courtesy of BYU Athletics)

The Big 12 schedule created a unique opportunity for BYU basketball to connect with individuals in Oklahoma.

Instead of making the cross-country trip back to Provo after their 86-73 win over West Virginia on Saturday, BYU hoops flew out of West Virginia on Sunday directly to Norman, Oklahoma.

BYU takes on the Oklahoma Sooners on Tuesday night. It will be the first meeting in Norman since 1986.

BYU basketball hosts Latter-day Saint Devotional in Oklahoma

On Sunday evening, BYU coach Mark Pope, his wife Lee Anne Pope, and players on the nationally-ranked BYU squad hosted a devotional in Norman for the youth in Oklahoma.

Devotionals are often an evening gathering of members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to share their testimonies of Jesus Christ. BYU is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was a multi-stake event for members of the Church in Oklahoma. No official attendance number was provided. But the chapel in Norman, Oklahoma, was at capacity, with more than half of the gym filled with attendees.

BYU has nine players who have served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Nine players on the 2023-24 BYU basketball roster have served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Among the nine include starting point guard Dallin Hall, who served in Fresno, California, amidst a global pandemic from 2020-22. Starter Spencer Johnson (Milan, Italy; 2016-18), and sharpshooter Trevin Knell (Montevideo, Uruguay; 2017-19).

Sunday night’s devotional in Oklahoma is believed to be the first in-season devotional BYU basketball has held during the Mark Pope era (since 2019).

Before BYU basketball was in the Big 12 Conference, they were a member of the WCC. The league schedule in the WCC was centered around a Thursday-Saturday format, so there was never an opportunity for travel on a Sunday.

In the Big 12, games have typically been on a Saturday-Tuesday schedule for BYU. This road swing of West Virginia and Oklahoma was the first occurrence of back-to-back road games from Saturday to Tuesday.

BYU takes on the Oklahoma Sooners on Tuesday, February 6, at 6 p.m. (MT) on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM).

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s’ coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Basketball Holds Latter-day Saint Devotional For Oklahoma Youth