Tag Archives: Cacie Pope

Arrangements set for Cacie Pope’s funeral

Former Lady Topper basketball player Cacie Pope’s funeral services will be held March 1 at 11 a.m. PST in Inglewood, Calif., according to Western Media Relations.

Pope passed away Sunday night in California after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. She was 24.

Expressions of sympathy in the form of cards, flowers, monetary donations, etc., can be sent to the family’s home:

Cheryl Pope (Cacie’s mother)
11530 215th Street
Lakewood, CA 90715

-Zach Greenwell


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Lady Tops pay tribute to Cacie Pope before ASU game

The Lady Toppers played with heavy hearts on Wednesday night as they honored former player Cacie Pope, who lost a lengthy battle with brain cancer on Sunday.

The players wore “CP 54” patches on their jerseys, and a moment of silence was recognized in Diddle Arena before the start of Western’s game against Arkansas State.

A video tribute was also shown before the game highlighting Pope’s 14-point, 11-rebound effort against No. 11 Vanderbilt in 2004.

Senior guard Kenzie Rich said the team had seen the video beforehand, but that didn’t make it any easier when it was shown to the Diddle crowd.

“We’re going to be emotional every time we see it,” Rich said. “Cacie — she’s just a great person. We knew we were going to watch the video, and we tried to not let that affect us.”

Senior forward Arnika Brown said the emotions of Pope’s passing were hard to subside during the game itself.

“I was trying to get it together, and (junior guard) Amy (McNear) looked at me and said, ‘You need to just play. We still have a game to play,’” Brown said. “I just took that and started playing. It was just emotional.”

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles, who Pope had previously called a “second mother,” became emotional during her postgame press conference as she talked about the tributes.

“It was just something we needed to do, but it was a lot more difficult to do it, even though you knew you needed to do it, and you knew Cacie deserved it,” Cowles said. “But that’s not a really fun way to start a basketball game.”

-Zach Greenwell

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Lady Topper family reacts to Cacie Pope’s passing

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles has issued a statement through Western Media Relations regarding the passing of former Lady Topper Cacie Pope.

Pope, 24, lost a seven-year battle with brain cancer at home in California on Sunday night.

“The Lady Topper Family is deeply saddened by Cacie’s passing, but we are grateful to have known her and are blessed to have had her in our lives,” Cowles said. “Cacie’s unbelievable strength and spirit was – and will continue to be – an inspiration to everyone who knew her.”

Crystal Kelly, a former Lady Topper standout and teammate of Pope, Tweeted a message this morning, expressing her reluctance to head to basketball practice. But it was obvious that Kelly learned of Pope’s passing just hours later.

“and the little things dont seem to matter anymore….R. I. P. cacie pope…love you boots,” Kelly Tweeted this afternoon.

Current Assistant Coach Latasha Dorsey also shared her condolences on Twitter.

“We loss a very special Lady Topper last night. Your strength was an inspiration to many. R.I.P. Cacie Pope

Pope joined the Lady Toppers in 2003 but was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October of that year.

She was cleared to play and returned to action for the 2004-05 season, playing and starting in  nine games before a recurrence of her brain tumor cut her season short.

Pope averaged nine points and 7.2 rebounds over that nine-game span and posted 14 points and 11 rebounds in a victory over No. 11 Vanderbilt in Diddle Arena – the Lady Toppers’ last win over a ranked opponent.

She saw action in seven games as a sophomore before more complications brought her playing career to an end.

-Zach Greenwell

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Remembering Cacie Pope

As some may have heard, former Lady Topper basketball player Cacie Pope died last night after a long battle with brain cancer, according to Western Media Relations.

She was just 24 years old.

A statement hasn’t been released from Western yet, and the Herald is still trying to collect details, but we’ll report them as soon as we can.

I thought that some might appreciate a story about Cacie I found in a November 2005 edition of the Herald by Jake Mitchell.

The story comes at the beginning of her sophomore season, after Cacie had been forced to leave the team the previous two years to have tumors surgically removed from her brain.

On the day of the story, Cacie had been cleared to play but was forced out of practice due to a sprained ankle.

She was all smiles, as an injured foot was nothing to this girl who had been through so much.

Below are a few more old Herald quotes I found about Cacie that show just how loved and respected she was by her teammates and coaches:

Junior guard Tiffany Porter-Talbert on the recurrence of Pope’s tumor – March 2005:

“Cacie’s a big inspiration for our team and she’s always with us. We feel like we wanna win for Cacie if nothing else.”

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles on a freshman Pope returning to the bench on Senior Night – March 2005:

“It was really important for the team to see that she’s doing fine and important for Cacie to get an added lift and added strength. It meant a lot for our ladies and her.”

Assistant Coach Carrie Daniels on Pope’s road to recovery – Jan. 2005:

“Cacie is in great spirits. It’s been really tough on her, but she’s been very mature. She’s handled it well, and she has a great outlook on her situation.”

Freshman forward Raquel Mattis on Pope’s absence – Jan. 2005:

“We all miss her. It’s hard because she’s such a big part of our team. It’s a fight for ourselves as well as Cacie.”

Cowles on Pope’s resilience – Feb. 2004:

“She’s a fighter. Flat out, she’s a fighter. Now after seeing what she’s been through, I can see she’s a fighter in the game of life, not just in basketball.”

-Zach Greenwell

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