Rushville Republican

News

April 11, 2014

UMass basketball player announces he's gay

(Continued)

Center Tyler Bergantino roomed with Gordon as freshmen.

“The fact that he’s gay doesn’t change anything,” Bergantino said. “We didn’t know he was gay before. We know he’s gay now. But he’s the exact same person.”

Gordon said some teammates at the Amherst, Mass., school probably have known since last summer. 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.

“They could sense it because I kind of separated myself from the team,” Gordon said. “I didn’t 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 - I’d sit by myself and they were always wondering why. I did it because I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where maybe something happens and they end up finding out. Then what? I’m not going to know how to handle the situation.”

Gordon held off making the announcement to keep from diverting attention from the NCAA tournaments, which ended Monday night for the men and Tuesday night for the women.

“I’ve been getting tons and tons of support,” Gordon said. “I’m barely getting anything negative.”

That may be coming, but he’s confident he can handle it.

“I’m not too concerned about any away games in terms of the crowd. I have a tough skin for that,” he said. “They can say whatever they want.”

During the year he sat out, he considered giving up the sport but changed his mind “just because I don’t want to feel like I can’t be myself because our society doesn’t accept it,” Gordon said. “I want to be able to live my life happy and play the sport that I love.”

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