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UMass Guard Comes Out As Gay In First For NCAA Division I Basketball

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AP Photo / Ty Wright

Derrick Gordon, a 22-year-old starting guard, said he wanted to acknowledge his sexuality publicly after he came out to his family, coaches and teammates at the beginning of April.

"I just didn't want to hide anymore, in any way," he 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 follows the lead of Michael Sam, the All-American University of Missouri football player who came out as gay earlier this year and could soon become the National Football League's first openly gay player, and Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in the NBA.

"That was so important to me, knowing that sexuality didn't matter, that the NBA was OK with it," Gordon told ESPN.

UMass head coach Derek Kellogg tweeted his support for Gordon after the story broke.