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First openly gay player in NCAA basketball tournament leaving sport

First openly gay player in NCAA basketball tournament leaving sport

Gay college basketball player Derrick Gordon is leaving the sport.

Derrick Gordon made history this year when he became the first openly gay player to play in the NCAA basketball tournament known as March Madness.

But Gordon, 24, isn’t looking to turn pro.

He announced this that he’s now leaving the sport behind to focus on the next stage his life: becoming a firefighter.

Gordon played in March Madness as a shooting guard for Seton Hall University but came out publicly in 2014 while playing for University of Massachusetts.

‘I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way,’ Gordon said in an Instagram post.

‘But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!’

During March Madness, Gordon told reporters that he was just focused on the game.

‘I’m not out to prove anything,’ he said then. ‘I know what I have to do. I know my skill level. I mean, it’s just going out there and doing what I know how to do with my teammates.’

Gordon had not wanted a lot of public attention on his sexuality during the season but acknowledged ‘it’s always going to be a story until somebody else does it. I’m the only one right now in college basketball. I really don’t mind.

‘I just hope one day when somebody else comes out that it’s not as big of a deal as when I came out. It’s 2016, my teammates are the perfect example that it’s all about basketball with us.’

Gordon said he decided to go public about being gay because ‘there were a lot of kids out there who were killing themselves, or people who stopped playing their sport because they felt they didn’t fit in or whatever it may be.

‘So hopefully me coming out could help them out in many ways. Looking at me playing at a top Division I school and being in the NCAA tournament, they could be like, “OK, if he can do it, I can do it.”‘