Jallen Messersmith Gay: 1st College Basketball Player To Come Out?

Image: Jallen Messersmith Gay: 1st College Basketball Player To Come Out?

Thursday, 30 May 2013 09:43 AM

By Alexandra Ward

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Jallen Messersmith, a 6-foot-7 basketball player at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., has come out, and is believed to be the first openly gay active college basketball player in the country.

Messersmith, 20, announced Wednesday that he revealed his sexuality to his coach last summer and to his teammates before the start of the season. The public announcement comes just a month after NBA veteran Jason Collins came out on the cover of Sports Illustrated in a groundbreaking first-person essay, making him the first openly gay active athlete in a major professional sport.

"The big thing for me, why I wanted to [come out], before the whole Jason Collins thing, is there weren't a lot of basketball-related stories like this," Messersmith told ESPN. "When I started coming out, I didn't have anyone to look to for advice or to see how their story went. People can look to see what happened to me — and there are positive things going on."

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals?

Though Messersmith technically came out to friends and teammates before Collins, he said the NBA player's experience was still helpful.

"It's awesome to have another person in my sport to come out [nationally] beforehand," Messersmith said.

Benedictine College, a small, 2,000-student school, released a statement Wednesday.

"We support Jallen as a Benedictine College student and as a member of the Raven basketball team," the school said. "Obviously, it would be inappropriate for us to discuss the private lives of students. As an institution we treat all students with respect and sensitivity."

Brett Fisher, a starting guard for Benedictine and one of Messersmith's best friends on the team, said Messersmith came out to teammates individually.

"I think it takes a lot of courage to come out to everyone you know," Fisher told ESPN. "He sort of feels like he had a thousand pounds lifted from his shoulders when he came out."

Messersmith received an outpouring of support on Twitter.

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll

Related stories:

Is NBA's Jason Collins a Hero? 

Howard Kurtz Bashes Jason Collins in Error on Engagement (Video)

Armstrong Williams: Jason Collins' Coming Out a 'Who Cares Moment'

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Predatory Glow Worm, Newly Discovered, Is Not the Cute and Cuddly Kind

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 21:01 PM

An odd predatory glow worm has been discovered in the Peruvian rain forest, trapping small insects in its wide jaws. . . .

100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for the First Time in Granted Wish

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 20:22 PM

A 100-year-old woman has finally seen the ocean for the first time after spending most of her life picking cotton and ra . . .

Hugh Laurie: 'Veep' to Feature Former Dr. House in a 'Few Episodes'

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 20:02 PM

Actor Hugh Laurie will be back on television soon when he does a "few episodes" of "Veep," he said on Twitter Thursday. . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved