Derrick Gordon – Seton Hall Basketball

“I tried a number of different sports growing up.  Basketball was the sport that kind of stuck. I went to one of the top rated high schools in the country at the time, St. Patrick’s High School, and played alongside Kyrie Irving. I was one of the top players in the country in my class. From there I went to Western Kentucky University.”

“I transferred to UMass Amherst and then finished off my last season at Seton Hall University. I took three different programs to the NCAA tournament which meant a lot to me. I care more about winning than anything else and we won so that’s what really matters. Being able to take those three teams to the NCAA tournament in the span of four years in college, that was special.”

“Through it all there was always something that was bothering me. My sexuality, you know, me not being like everyone else. I knew I was different so during those times in the closet I had a lot of dark moments. I had a lot of moments when I was on the phone with my mom, and she would always ask me before we hung up if everything was alright. I would always tell her ‘Everything is fine, everything is great’  when really it wasn’t. You know? There’s so many times where I was struggling.”

“When my teammates found out, I did not want to go back to school. I could just feel the tension in the air.  It became so clear that I had to make a decision: Be in the closet or come out and be happy and be myself and play the sport that I love. It was affecting my game on the court. When I came out, everything changed. I started to play a lot better. I lost some friends, but they really weren’t my friends from the get go. I’ve gained a lot of support and helped a lot of people as well. To this day, people are still constantly thanking me for coming out and being an example.”

“With me coming out, Michael Sam, Jason Collins, Wade Davis it’s definitely helped but there’s a long way to go. I think the best thing that we all can do is to continue on the course, to keep taking a stand and fight for justice. You don’t have to love somebody but just respect them.”

“I want people to definitely keep in tune because I’ve changed careers as of May 12, and it’s big. I got to keep quiet right now because my team wants me to but let’s just say when I announce this, it’s going to be groundbreaking. I think it’s gonna help a lot of people, let’s just say that.”

“Everyone has their own interests and there will be people out there who may try to use you. Don’t let that happen. Be confident. Be confident in yourself and don’t let the outside noise get to you. As long as you’re comfortable and happy, that’s all that matters.”

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