July 9, 2009

Former Saints Basketball Star Shines in Europe

2008-09 Europe Statistics

DAHLONEGA, GA – Former North Georgia basketball star Nick Pope has continued his career in Europe over the last year, and makes the move to one of the most successful leagues in France for the upcoming season.

As a member of Evreux during the 2008-09 season, Pope averaged 15 points per game and shot 47% from the field and 35% from long range while recording a game-high 27 points.

He will now make the transition to one of the highest levels in all of Europe, playing for Gravelines-Dunkerque in France and going up against the likes of former top 40 picks in the NBA draft and Atlanta Coast Conference stars David Noel of North Carolina and Julius Hodge of NC State. Gravelines-Dunkerque will also compete in the 2010 Euro Challenge against over 60 of the best teams in Europe.

"Nic's success as a baskeball player is a testament to a lifetime of hard work, head coach Chris Faulkner said of his former standout. “This new contract, essentially a promotion, is evidence of Nic's work ethic and desire to be a better player. We are thankful for what he has done for our program promoting North Georgia all over the world."

In his one season as apart of the North Georgia program, Pope nearly recorded 400 points, putting up 399 points and pulling down 164 rebounds as he led the Saints to a 4th place finish in the Peach Belt Conference and a spot in the semi-finals of the 2008 PBC Tournament.

"Nic is a very special individual who was able to dramatically impact our program in a short time,” Faulkner said. “We are extremely proud of what he accomplished in his collegiate career in addition to what he has done in his first year in the pros."

The 2008 PBC All-Conference selection had five games of 20 points or more, and had a season-high 24 points against UNC Pembroke in an overtime thriller, a game sent to the extra period by a last second three-pointer from the Jenks, Oklahoma, native. He averaged 13.8 points per game, and shot over 38-percent from behind the arc, and .475 from the field for the season.