AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — UMass basketball player Derrick Gordon says in a televised interview that he is gay.
Gordon made the announcement on ESPN on Wednesday, becoming the first openly gay player in Division I men’s basketball.
The guard was the Minutemen’s fourth-leading scorer with 9.4 points per game last season, when UMass reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998.
A transfer from Western Kentucky, Gordon played at high school powerhouse St. Patrick in New Jersey.
Gordon says he was inspired by NBA player Jason Collins and NFL prospect Michael Sam, who came out within the past year. He says: “I want to be myself. I don’t want to hide and be someone I’m not.”
Michael Sam tweeted words of support and encouragement to Gordon.
— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) April 9, 2014