Gloria Deo Academy Proud To Be A Lion Blog

Upper School student, Malak Dove, spoke about his experience as a GDA Lion at the GDA Together Again Banquet.

At the 2021 Together Again Banquet, Gloria Deo Academy Upper School student Malak Dove spoke about the athletic opportunities GDA offers and how his experiences as a GDA Lion have shaped him to be a better man and impact the world for God’s glory. The vision of GDA is to provide quality athletic opportunities in which students can grow in strength, unity, sportsmanship, and leadership while using their talents to glorify God through sports. GDA participates in various Missouri State High School Activity Association (MSHSAA) events throughout the year as well as club sports and other activities.


Gloria Deo Academy has impacted my life making me a better man, helping me build better relationships with others, and equipping me a to impact our world. GDA has instilled these values in a variety of ways, however [tonight I am going] to speak to you about the Lions’ Athletic Program. During my time at GDA I have had the privilege to be a Lion in archery, basketball, and cross-country. 

GDA Upper School Lions Basketball Team

GDA Lions recently won the championship!

Being a Man  

Being involved with Lion Athletics has taught me a lot about what it takes to be a man. In archery, Coach Allen taught me the lesson that the details matter. Perfecting a simple process is what allows one to hit the target. Commitment to that process repeatedly is what brings a successful tournament outcome. In cross country, Coach Stoddard trained me for endurance. Running fast for 10 seconds is fun, but running fast for 20 minutes is work! Putting in the work every day equipped me to endure on race-day. In basketball, Coach Sallie taught me the patience needed to ride the bench! This is an important lesson for a man! Many times, in life I will not be the best. I have to trust those who know best, and cheer for those who are best. Being a part of a team is not all about me. I will get my chance when I am best for the moment to contribute to the team. I am thankful for these lessons that I will use the rest of my life as a man. 

GDA Lions Cross Country Team Upper School

Building Relationships 

Athletics at GDA has been awesome for helping me establish relationships with others. My best friendships have been built and strengthened by competing with and against my fellow Lions. We get to interact with each other every day after school. Day by day we work together to become better at our sport. We cannot help but learn more about each other and grow together as friends, teammates, and athletes. GDA athletics gives me the opportunity to build great friendships in a Christian environment that challenges us to be excellent people and encouraging teammates. 

Impacting Our World 

By teaching me to be a man of character, and by helping me build valuable relationships, GDA’s athletic program equips me with life experiences that will help me impact the world. If I am a man with great character but I do not team with others my influence remains minimal. If I join with others but my character is weak, I will inhibit the team’s influence; but with strong personal character being active within a strong team community the world can be impacted and changed for the glory of God. 

This is why Gloria Deo Academy exists – to bring glory to God. The athletics program is just one of the many ways GDA is developing and training a generation to bring glory to God. Thank you for all you have done for my academy and therefore the kingdom of God. I am tremendously blessed and proud to call myself a Gloria Deo Academy Lion. Go Lions!