UMass Basketball Star First Openly Gay D-1 Player

Derrick Gordon
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Derrick Gordon '15 (sociology), a starter for the UMass men's basketball team, stepped forward on April 9 as the first openly gay player in Division I men's college basketball and shared his story with ESPN and Outsports.

A network of mentors helped Gordon in his journey to becoming the first openly gay male player in Division I basketball. The 22-year-old shooting guard came out to his family, coaches and teammates in just a few days at the beginning of April. That's when he also decided to publicly acknowledge his sexuality. "I just didn't want to hide anymore, in any way," Gordon told ESPN. "I didn't want to have to lie or sneak. I've been waiting and watching for the last few months, wondering when a Division I player would come out, and finally I just said, 'Why not me?'"

"UMass is proud to have Derrick Gordon as a member of our athletic family and to honor his courage and openness as a gay student-athlete," athletic director John McCutcheon said in a written statement. "UMass 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."

Read the ESPN story and watch an interview with Gordon, Coach Kellogg and others.

Read the Outsports article and listen to an interview with Gordon.

Read article in the Boston Globe, written by Journalism major Steve Sellner '14. Natalie Sczublewski '14, Erin Wolosz '15 and Sionan Barrett '16, all Journalism majors, produced the accompanying video.