UMass guard Derrick Gordon hopes his decision to become the first openly gay player in Division I mens basketball will inspire others. "There are a lot of kids out there in my situation, probably far worse situations," he said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "Maybe I can give a lot of kids that confidence that they need to get over that hump." Earlier Wednesday, Gordon made the announcement in interviews with ESPN and Outsports. He said he gained confidence by seeing an NBA team sign Jason Collins, who became the leagues first openly gay player when he joined the Brooklyn Nets this season. "Right now Im happy. Im free just to live my life," Gordon told the AP. The sophomore was the Minutemens fourth-leading scorer with 9.4 points per game last season. UMass reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998 and lost in its first game to Tennessee. He sat out the previous season after transferring from Western Kentucky to be closer to his family in New Jersey, where he played at high school powerhouse St. Patrick. Gordon said he told his parents he was gay March 30, informed UMass coach Derek Kellogg the next day and told his teammates two days later, which was last Wednesday. He said some of them probably have known since last summer. "They could sense it because I kind of separated myself from the team," Gordon said. "I didnt really hang out with them as far as going to parties and stuff. I really kind of kept to myself, kept quiet. We went on road trips -- Id sit by myself and they were always wondering why. I did it because I didnt want to put myself in a situation where maybe something happens and they end up finding out. Then what? Im not going to know how to handle the situation." He said he appreciated the support hes received from his teammates since making his announcement. "Theyre ready to get back in the gym just as much as I am," Gordon said. "I cant wait to get back with them and get ready for this upcoming season." In the Outsports interview, Gordon said he considered quitting basketball last fall and isolated himself from teammates because of teasing. Over the summer, he had "liked" a photo on Instagram of him and his then-boyfriend in front of a gay bar. Gordon said Wednesday that he had talked several times with Collins, who made a trailblazing announcement last April when he came out in an interview with Sports Illustrated. In February, he became the first openly gay male athlete in the four major North American pro sports leagues. Collins tweeted that he was "so proud" of Gordon: "Another brave young man who is going to make it easier for so many others to live an authentic life." Michael Sam, an All-American defensive end at Missouri, came out in interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports in February after his college career ended. He is projected as a middle-round prospect in next months NFL draft. Sam tweeted congratulations to Gordon after the announcement: "You have so many in your corner and were all proud and rooting for you." Kellogg and UMass director of athletics John McCutcheon offered their support in statements from the school. The coach said that "I have the most profound respect for Derrick and the decision he has made to come out publicly." He called Gordon "a model student, a terrific competitor, but most importantly, he is a wonderful human being." Rollie Fingers Jersey
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. Andrews, Scotland - Oliver Wilson fired a final- round, 2-under 70 on Sunday and he held on to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship by one shot.The Edmonton Oilers have acquired defenceman Mark Fraser in exchange for forward Teemu Hartikainen and Cameron Abney. In 19 games with the Maple Leafs this season, the 27-year-old Fraser has notched one assist and a minus-8 rating with 33 penalty minutes. He is currently on a one-year deal worth $1.275 million and is eligible for unrestricted free agency at seasons end. "Marks been a real good soldier for us and to be able to move a veteran player to an organization that wants them I think is a great thing," Leafs assistant general manager Claude Loiselle told TSN. "Secondly, cap-wise, were in a situation where we need to create space, because of the guys who are coming off, Bolland particularly, and then Smitty [Trevor Smith]. In the past, previously, we had John-Michael Liles, who gave us $925,000 in cap space when he went down and with Tim Gleason playing up we dont have that luxury so we had to make a move." The deal frees up more than $1 million in salary cap space for the Leafs, according to Capgeek.com. It may be enough to get injured Centre Dave Bolland off the long-term injured reserve once a couple players are assigned to the Marlies. Hartikainen, 23, is currently playing with Ufa in the Konntinental Hockey League where he has scored 13 goals and 14 assists in 43 games.dddddddddddd "He wants to play in the NHL," Loiselle said. "Hes probably a third-line player, competes hard, hard on the puck and that our scouts think highly of. He has an out in his contract in the KHL so thats good." The Leafs plan to keep Hartikainen in Russia, while they will likely assign Abney to either the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League or the East Coast Hockey Leagues Orlando Solar Bears. The Finnish forward last played for the Oilers in 2012-13 when he scored one goal and two assists in 23 games. It was the final season of his three-year, entry-level deal with the Oilers. He was originally selected in the sixth round (163rd overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and has scored six goals and seven assists in 52 career games with the Oilers. Abney - an Oilers 2009 third-rounder - has scored two goals and three assists with the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL. He has never appeared in an NHL game. The Maple Leafs acquired Fraser in a 2012 trade that saw them send forward Dale Mitchell to the Anaheim Ducks. In 162 career NHL games with the Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils, he has scored three goals and added 14 assists. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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