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South Whidbey boys basketball coach Henry Pope dies

South Whidbey High School boys basketball coach Henry Pope, who gave countless hours to thousands of high-school athletes over a long coaching career, died Thursday morning. He was 57.

Pope died in his sleep of an enlarged heart, according to his wife, Teresa.

Originally from Alabama, Pope moved to the Pacific Northwest when he received a basketball scholarship to play basketball for Marv Harshman at Washington in 1973.

Pope, an ex-Boeing network designer, had also coached Little League baseball, fast-pitch softball, football and girls basketball on Whidbey Island.

“Let’s put it this way — we are having his funeral at the basketball gym because there’s so many people that want to be there,” Teresa Pope said.

The funeral is scheduled for the morning of Aug. 2, though a time has not been announced.

Those close to him spoke about the undivided attention he gave to his athletes.

Pope is survived by his wife and three children: Taylor, Samantha and Lewis.

Women’s basketball

Western Washington junior center Kayla Bernsen will miss the 2013-14 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.

Sports-information reports contributed to this article

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