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University of Massachusetts guard Derrick Gordon has announced that he is gay, making him the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player.
“I just didn’t want to hide it anymore, in any way,” Gordon told ESPN. “I didn’t want to have to lie or sneak. I’ve been waiting and watching for the last few months, wondering when a Division I player would come out, and finally I just said, ‘Why not me?’ ”
Gordon, 22, started for UMass during the 2013-14 season — the Minutemen’s most successful season in recent years. Gordon averaged 9.4 points per game, and UMass reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998.
“UMass is proud of the courage and the example shown by Derrick Gordon today as well as his teammates and the basketball program,” the university’s athletic department tweeted.
Gordon’s announcement comes less than two months after the NBA’s Jason Collins became the first openly gay man to play in one of the country’s four major professional sports.
In February, NFL prospect and former University of Missouri standout Michael Sam also came out. If drafted, he will become the NFL's first openly gay player.