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Basketball Star Reads Bible on Bench on Biggest Stage: "Gotta Bring Your Sword to Battle"

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A college basketball star with NBA potential wants the world to know about Jesus Christ.

Gabe McGlothan, a 6-foot-7 forward with the surging Grand Canyon University Antelopes of the Western Athletic Conference, leads his team in rebounding on the court and reads the Bible on the bench before games.

“Gotta bring your sword to battle,” McGlothan said of his pregame Bible reading, a practice he has followed not only in the current season but also during his team’s appearance at the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

The 24-year-old graduate student made that comment Friday on a podcast with Jason Romano of Sports Spectrum, a faith- and sports-focused news outlet.

In 2023, McGlothan’s Antelopes won the WAC championship and earned the 14th seed in the NCAA Tournament’s West Region. GCU then lost its first-round game to the third-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs, a perennial powerhouse.

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Romano noticed that McGlothan had a Bible on the bench before a game. So he asked if the young forward spent those pregame moments merely holding the Bible or actually reading it.

“Reading it,” McGlothan replied. “So I do devotions, of course, daily devotions. But I also do devotions for a game.”

McGlothan then explained that the practice began with former teammate Jayden Stone, a guard on the 2021-22 Antelopes.

“We’d read a verse together, and then let’s take it out to the game. So we have that constant reminder — adversity strikes, we know exactly where to go,” McGlothan said.

In true Christian fashion, the athlete began the practice to strengthen his faith, not to bring attention to himself. Still, he has enjoyed many positive reactions.

“It’s actually been super cool to see how it’s impacting the others around me,” he said.


Athletes need not enjoy on-court or on-field success to act as witnesses for Christ. When they do achieve competitive goals, however, their public displays of faith can have quite an impact.

The 2023-24 Antelopes have begun the season 16-1, winning all six conference games. As of Monday, they had reeled off an impressive 13 consecutive victories. That streak included a 79-73 win over the then-25th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs, runner-up in last season’s NCAA Tournament.

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In short, GCU looks poised to repeat as conference champions and make another trip to the “Big Dance.”

Meanwhile, Antelopes head coach Bryce Drew thinks McGlothan has a chance to play professional basketball.

“He’s playing at such a high level,” Drew said, according to the Arizona Republic. “He’s shooting the ball from the perimeter. He’s rebounding. He’s the prototype size that you want in the NBA right now.”

Better yet, Drew has seen McGlothan draw closer to Christ over the last few years. “I think his faith has really grown at GCU,” the coach said.

Indeed, the young forward has showcased the development of his faith on social media.

In 2020, for instance, McGlothan posted a photo of his baptism on Instagram, calling it “the best accomplishment I will ever have.”

 

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Et opslag delt af Gabe McGlothan (@gabemcglothan)

Likewise, in a podcast interview posted to TikTok in February 2023, McGlothan explained that Christians — by the mere act of becoming Christians — assume a public responsibility.

“Whenever we take that name and hold onto it ourselves, … our actions as shown as, like, ‘Oh, this is what a believer [in] Christ does,” he said.

@superboldpodcast We are a representation of the Christian faith! Grand Canyon University Basketball Star Gabe McGlothan talks about how we can lead by example when serving Christ. If you want to see our full podcast with Gabe McGlothan, click the YouTube link in our bio! 2 Corinthians 5:20 “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” #fy #fyp #fypage #gcu #gcubasketball #christianitytiktok #jesus #jesuschrist ♬ original sound – Super Bold Podcast

It is always heartening to see athletes behave as McGlothan has.

And the young man has good company.

On the basketball court, Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac has spoken openly of his Christian faith. Last year, Isaac even launched a shoe brand featuring sneakers with Bible verses written on them.

In the NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph will take the field later today in Buffalo. Meanwhile, Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud won his first playoff game on Saturday. Both quarterbacks have spoken openly of their faith in Christ.

Readers who have given up on woke sports might want to give these athletes and others a second look.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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