AMHERST, Mass. - UMass guard Derrick Gordon has become the first openly gay player in Division I men's basketball.
Gordon made the announcement in interviews with ESPN and Outsports on Wednesday. The sophomore 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 said he felt more confident to come out after seeing an NBA team sign Jason Collins, who became the league's first openly gay player when he joined the Brooklyn Nets this season.
"I want to be myself," Gordon said in the interview televised on ESPN. "I don't want to hide and be someone I'm not."
Gordon recently came out to his teammates. He said they told him: "We're going to support you no matter what."
Gordon's career-best game is a 22-point effort against Nebraska in the Charleston Classic tournament played at the College of Charleston in November.
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