ORU alumna Mallory Dougoud is starting her first year as a Silver Dancer, an NBA cheerleader for the San Antonio Spurs.
Dougoud always had a passion for dancing and cheerleading. She was a part of the cheer squad during her time at ORU and taught weekly Zumba classes. She expected to become a news reporter despite her love for athletics.
“I wanted to be a reporter on E! News, and report on all the live red carpet events and give celebrity updates,” Dougoud said.
Ultimately, her post-graduation journey did not lead into reporting.
“Once I graduated I could not find a job anywhere,” she said. “I decided to take a break and go back to doing what I love, which was cheerleading and dancing for basketball.”
She decided to go to a local tryout for the NBA developmental league’s Tulsa 66ers (now known as Oklahoma Blue). The team is an affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Her father, Billy Dougoud, remembers his initial reaction to his daughter cheering professionally.
“I was a bit hesitant, especially with the uniforms,” Billy Dougoud said. “It set me back as a daddy but I had to adapt because this was her dream.”
Mallory Dougoud spent two seasons with the 66ers. She did more than just dance. She also utilized the journalism tools she acquired at ORU. “We did a lot of promos, speaking to children at school, speaking with adults, on camera interviews, etc. It all felt familiar because of my training at ORU,” said Mallory Dougoud.
The jump from the 66ers to the Spurs took overcoming adversity.
Her first cheerleading audition was for the Oklahoma City Thunder dance squad. She was the final dancer to be cut.
“She wanted to make that team so bad. But I didn’t think that was the place. I thought it was too early,” Billy Dougoud said.
Mallory then tried out for the Dallas Mavericks’ dance team about a week later but she didn’t make that team either.
“She came home and said, ‘Dad I’m going to try one more time. I’m going to go out for the Spurs.’ I leaped inside when she said she was trying out for the Spurs. That’s one of my favorite teams and they run a clean, good organization. They have a lot of integrity.”
This past summer, Billy Dougoud was busy working at The Cheesecake Factory when he received the good news.
“Mallory came flying in running,” he said. “She jumps in my arms and everybody at that restaurant knew she had made the San Antonio Spurs squad.”
Billy Dougoud is careful to guide his daughter to focus on the present moment and fulfill her purpose where she is.
“I always tell her ‘Mallory, have fun today.’ I don’t care if she is there for 20 years. I don’t know. It may be for a season. But while she is there she is to be a shining light in a dark place,” Billy Dougoud said.
The two attribute the glory to God in how He has used the various moments in Mallory’s life to prepare her for now.
“Now that I am a Silver Dancer for the San Antonio Spurs, I feel completely at ease doing on camera promos, speaking at games and being on TV. I am just believing God for the next step in my life,” she said. “It’s funny how God totally changes things. ORU prepared me for being in front and behind the camera. ”