AMHERST, Mass. — Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player to compete in a collegiate game Friday night, starting at shooting guard and helping Massachusetts defeat Siena 95-87.
ESPN reports that Gordon scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He made 11 of 12 free throws, including two with 18.2 seconds remaining that helped seal the victory for the Minutemen in their season opener.
In April, the UMass junior acknowledged in an interview with ESPN that he is gay, making him the first Division I men’s basketball player to come out publicly.
Gordon said he gained confidence by seeing an NBA team sign Jason Collins, who became the league’s first openly gay player when he joined the Brooklyn Nets earlier this year.
“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.”