UMass guard Derrick Gordon has become the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player.
The redshirt sophomore told his story to Kate Fagan of ESPNW.com and Cyd Zeigler of Outsports.com. The stories were posted this morning, and Gordon, as well as head coach Derek Kellogg, had subsequent follow-up interviews on Sportscenter.
“For this to be happening right now, me coming out, it’s an indescribable feeling, honestly,” Gordon said. “I couldn’t be any happier. I feel like I can fly.”
“I have the most profound respect for Derrick and the decision he has made to come out publicly,” Kellogg wrote on his twitter account. “He is a model student, a terrific competitor, but most importantly, he is a wonderful human being. We know his decision weighed heavily on him for some time, but as a coaching staff, a team and a family, we stressed to him that we support him in every way possible. Derrick is a first-class representative of this University and this program since he joined us and we are all very proud of him.”
Gordon made the decision to come out in recent weeks, after the UMass season came to an end during the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn. He befriended a gay former NFL Player and You Can Play project executive director, who introduced him to other gay people in the sports community.
Gordon averaged 9.4 points and 3.5 boards for the Minutemen last season after transferring into the program from Western Kentucky.