College basketball: Derrick Gordon on coming out as gay 10 years ago – Asbury Park Press

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College basketball: Derrick Gordon on coming out as gay 10 years ago – Asbury Park Press

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Derrick Gordon playing for Seton Hall basketball in 2016

It was a huge deal at the time, “a bomb,” as Derrick Gordon recalls. In April 2014, while a junior on the University of Massachusetts basketball team, the Plainfield native told the world he was gay.

In doing so, Gordon became the first openly gay Division 1 men’s basketball player.

Ten years later, there hasn’t been another.

“I’m going to stay. I’m shocked, looking back on it now, that I’m the only one,” Gordon said last week from his home in Los Angeles. “I guess people don’t want to be in that position – they see it as a risk, but it’s not. It’s not a risk at all. Even though it wasn’t the NBA, I proved that you could still play professional basketball.

Quite a journey

Derrick Gordon celebrates Seton Hall's Big East tournament title with the trophy and net.

Gordon then did some good business on the field. As a graduate student, he transferred to Seton Hall and – as a sixth man and unquestioned locker room leader – helped the Pirates win the 2016 Big East tournament title.

“It was a special time,” he said.

He later played professional football in Cyprus and Germany.

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