Out former NBA player John Amaechi was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the Queen in her Birthday Honours List. It's a big deal in Britain, handed out to a select few individuals for their chivalry. Amaechi was given the honor for his work with kids. NBA commissioner David Stern praised the honor:
John Amaechi is an inspiration to millions, and a great ambassador for his country and the sport of basketball. As a consummate professional during his playing days and through his continued community service, John truly represents the ideals of the NBA. On behalf of the entire NBA family, I want to congratulate John. I can think of no one more deserving of such a prestigious honor.
The "ideals of the NBA." Yep, it's just impossible to come out in the NBA today...
Amaechi graciously accepted the honor:
I am deeply honoured by this recognition by Her Majesty the Queen. I believe that much of my success is directly attributable to my family and close friends who have always supported me, as well as to those individuals and organisations with whom I have been privileged to partner over the years, to promote equality and human rights here in the UK and across the world.
I see this honour as a chance to reach out and do more to create an equality of opportunity for all people, but especially to inspire young people. I was once an overweight bookworm who hid in the corner of my school library and wished I was invisible. My Mother told me that I could do better than just disappear – she convinced me that the most unlikely of people, in the most improbable of situations can become extraordinary. I hope to use this platform to convince other young people just how true this can be for them too.