Derrick Gordon had kept his secret for too long.
He couldn’t be himself. He considered giving up the sport he loved. Because he was gay, he distanced himself from teammates.
“I was living life in shame,” the UMass sophomore guard said. “It took a toll on me.”
Gordon became the first openly gay player in Division I men’s basketball Wednesday, making the announcement on ESPN and Outsports. Now he hopes to inspire others in similar situations.
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“It’s crazy that I’m the first,” he told the AP. “I didn’t know that it would be this long, but if I’m the first, then I’ll start it off.”
Gordon was the Minutemen’s fourth-leading scorer with 9.4 points per game last season. UMass went 24-9 and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998.
• Kansas freshman Joel Embiid, who missed the NCAA tournament with a stress fracture in his back, said he’s leaving for the NBA. The 7-footer is projected to go in the top three picks of the NBA draft.
•Jacksonville hired Tony Jasick as its men’s coach.
• The NCAA banned Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s men from postseason play next season for failing to meet academic standards.
• Marquette fired women’s coach Terri Mitchell.