BREAKING: UMass’ Derrick Gordon comes out as first openly gay D-I men’s basketball player

By Patrick Strohecker

Derrick Gordon (Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
Derrick Gordon (Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

Massachusetts men’s basketball player Derrick Gordon came out as the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player in a story on on Wednesday morning after telling his teammates in a meeting a week earlier.

Gordon said in the interview with Outsports that he gained confidence to come out when Jason Collins made his announcement last summer, but was taken back by the lack of willingness of other gay athletes to come out following Collins’s announcement.

“Just waiting for that next college basketball player to come out, just never happened,” he said in the interview with Outsport’s Cyd Zeigler.

“I know what it’s like to cry yourself to sleep, or have a girlfriend, that’s really not your girlfriend just to try to impress your friends,” Gordon said. “I know what all that is like and nobody should live like that. That’s a fake way of living and I’m not a fake person. I want to be real with myself.”

“I have the most profound respect for Derrick and the decision he has made to come out publicly. He is a model student, a terrific competitor, but most importantly, he is a wonderful human being,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “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.”

“UMass Athletics is proud to have Derrick Gordon as a member of our athletic family and honor his courage and openness as a gay student-athlete UMass Athletics is committed to creating a welcoming climate where every student-athlete, coach and staff member can be true to themselves as they pursue their athletic, academic and professional goals,” Athletic Director John McCutcheon said.

“I truly admire Derrick Gordon for making the courageous decision to come out publicly,” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said. “Derrick is a superb student-athlete who represents our campus with distinction. The poise and confidence with which he has shared his personal story embody our campus’s shared values of respect, inclusion and diversity.”

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Patrick Strohecker can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @P_Strohecker.