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Jason Collins Signs With NBA’s Nets, First Openly Gay Player in Any Major Sport (UPDATE: He Signs for Full Year!)

UPDATE (3/15/2014): The NBA's Brooklyn Nets have liked what they've seen from Jason Collins, as the team has extended his contract for the remainder of the season, according to ESPN. Jason who is the first openly gay player in any of the U.S.'s four major sports had previously signed a preliminary 10-day contract. Congrats!

"It's cool," the basketball star says. "Thank you to the Nets organization, coaches and players. The team is playing really well right now, and I'm glad to continue to be here." Jason has been coming in off the bench and is averaging 9.8 minutes in his eight games.

When Jason joined the team, the Nets had the eighth-best record in the NBA's Eastern Conference, meaning they held the final playoff spot. The team now has the conference's fifth-best record. So Jason's minutes are paying off!

Original story (2/23/2014): Basketball star Jason Collins made headlines last year when he came out as gay. But Jason had remained an unsigned free agent since coming out. So perhaps the bigger news arrived today, as Jason has signed with the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. Way to go, Jason!

Jason, a 35-year-old center, signed a 10-day contract with the Nets on February 23, making him the first openly gay professional athlete in any of the U.S.'s four major sports (also including baseball, football, and hockey) according to ESPN.

"Sometimes in life, something happens, and there's an opportunity," Jason says. "I'm very thankful for this opportunity. That's why I work so hard, why I train the way I do, so that when I do have an opportunity, physically I'm not worried about my conditioning or cardio or anything along those lines."

Jason will make his post-coming-out playing debut when the Nets take on the Los Angeles Lakers on February 23. Jason is not expected to start but will come in off the bench. The Nets currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the NBA's Eastern Conference, meaning Jason gets to play for a playoff contender. Let's just hope he gets an extension to that ten-day contract!

How do you feel about Jason getting signed by the Nets?

Source: ESPN

02.23.2014 / 12:00 AM EDT by Ryan Gajewski
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