Coach Theus visits hospitalized recruit Pope

ALIQUIPPA, Pa. -- Pennsylvania high school basketball star
Herb Pope, who's recovering from gunshot wounds in a Pittsburgh
hospital, Wednesday got a visit from New Mexico State coach Reggie
Theus, for whom Pope hopes to play next season.

Pope, who averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds a game this past
season at Aliquippa High School, was shot on March 31. A Pittsburgh
man, Marcus Longmire, 19, turned himself in to police on Tuesdsay
and is facing charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault,
simple assault and firearms violation.

Theus and members of his staff visited Pope at UPMC Presbyterian
Hospital in Pittsburgh while en route to New Mexico from the Final

"Herb's spirits are very good," Theus said. "He is very
anxious to get out of the hospital and start his rehab. "Herb
still has a lot of work in front of him in terms of his rehab, but
the main thing is that if his spirits are good, then mine are

According to police, Pope and a friend had refused to give a
friend of Longmire's a ride home after a party. Information in a
criminal complaint states that Pope told police Longmire shot him
after the two got into a fight.

Pope, 18, was shot twice in the abdomen, once in the thigh and
once in the lower left arm.

Earlier this year Pope was rated the 17th best high school
senior in the country by one scouting service.