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John Amaechi awarded Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth

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.