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BYU Basketball Makes History by Starting 4 Black Players, 5 Non-LDS Players

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Stuck in a four-game losing streak, BYU changed its starting lineup for the fourth consecutive game last night before its overtime win at LMU.

Whether Mark Pope realized it or not, he made history when he inserted Alex Barcello, Te’Jon Lucas, Seneca Knight, Gideon George, and Fousseyni Traore into the starting lineup. According to BYU’s official game notes, this is believed to be the first time in BYU Basketball history that the Cougars have started 4 black players and 5 players who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU’s owning institution.

From the game notes:

The Cougars used a different starting lineup for the fourth straight game on Thursday as it featured five players who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The staring lineup also featured four Black players in Seneca Kinght, Te’Jon Lucas, Gideon George and Fousseyni Traore. While there are not official stats available for starter demographics, it is believed that this was the first time in BYU history for both occurrences.

All five players also come from different regions of the country and world. Traore and George are from Africa, Lucas is from Milwaukee, Knight from Louisiana, and Barcello from Arizona.

BYU players posted on their social media to note the event.

The players who were part of it are proud of this event, so it should be something worth recognizing and shows that BYU can be a place for people of all backgrounds.

BYU next takes the court Saturday night when the play in Malibu versus Pepperdine.