First openly gay player in NCAA basketball tournament hopes to inspire others

Derrick Gordon made history Thursday (17 March) when he became the first openly gay player to play in the NCAA basketball tournament known as March Madness.

Gordon, 24, is a shooting guard who attends Seton Hall University but came out in 2014 while playing for University of Massachusetts.

Prior to the big game this week, Gordon told reporters that he was just focused on the game.

‘I’m not out to prove anything,’ he said. ‘I know what I have to do. I know my skill level. I mean, it’s just going out there and doing what I know how to do with my teammates.’

Gordon has not wanted a lot of public attention on his sexuality this season but acknowledges ‘it’s always going to be a story until somebody else does it. I’m the only one right now in college basketball. I really don’t mind.

‘I just hope one day when somebody else comes out that it’s not as big of a deal as when I came out. It’s 2016, my teammates are the perfect example that it’s all about basketball with us.’

The player also talked to reporters about why he decided to go public about being gay.

‘There were a lot of kids out there who were killing themselves, or people who stopped playing their sport because they felt they didn’t fit in or whatever it may be,’ he said.

‘So hopefully me coming out could help them out in many ways. Looking at me playing at a top Division I school and being in the NCAA tournament, they could be like, “OK, if he can do it, I can do it.”'

This has been reposted from Gay Star News.