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UMass guard Derrick Gordon: Coming out made me a better basketball player

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Gordon’s public announcement made news and his first game this season drew extra attention. Then the story drifted into the background.

“It was a huge story and I think it shows how far our country and people around it have come,” Kellogg said. “It was actually refreshing that it wasn’t a huge story when we went on the road. People were very accommodating and treated him the way he was supposed to be treated. And I think he appreciated that.”

Gordon said not once this season did he hear any heckling from fans about his sexuality.

“We played against St. Bonaventure and the St. Bonaventure crowd can be ridiculous,” he said. “They didn’t say nothing at all. It was all positive.”

Gordon said he noticed a tweet from the students who lead the St. Bonaventure student section that encouraged and reminded fans before the game to treat Gordon with respect.

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“To see something like that was, man, my hats go off to them for the way they handled the whole situation,” Gordon said. “… Anywhere we went, everything was positive. I didn’t hear anything negative. No one came up to me.”

Gordon is leading a life that is not quite that of the typical 23-year-old college kid. His offseason schedule includes being an ambassador at the Miami Gay Pride parade in April. He also will be giving speech at an award ceremony in Boston for Jason Collins, the former professional basketball player who became the first openly gay man to play in the NBA.

“I’m going to do a speech about how he changed my life,” Gordon said. “Kind of suit-and-tie thing. Time to break out the suspenders. It’s going to be a very interesting next couple months. Fun.”

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