Derrick Gordon, the UMass guard who came out publicly as gay last year, is transferring at the end of this school year he has told Outsports. Gordon has one year of eligibility remaining. He does not know where he will play next season.
Gordon told Outsports he is excited but nervous. He transferred once before, from Western Kentucky to UMass after his senior season. Now he's back on the "market" unsure of where he'll land next.
One thing he wanted to make crystal clear: His entire team has supported him over the last year and his sexual orientation has nothing to do with his decision to transfer.
Derrick Gordon finds his freedom
After a year of isolation, gay UMass basketball player Derrick Gordon discovered the strength to share his truth with family and teammates. He becomes the first active male NCAA Div. 1 basketball player to come out publicly.
"It has nothing to do with my sexuality," he said. "It doesn't. I appreciate everything the coaches and my teammates have done for me. They supported me and were there for me. It's a personal decision for me to chase my dreams. I think this is the best for my future and what I want to accomplish. Whatever school I end up at, I want to play to my fullest potential and win a lot of games."
Gordon will graduate in May and will be eligible to play for another school next season. It's the path previously taken by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who graduated from NC State with one year of eligibility remaining and started as the quarterback for Wisconsin without sitting out a season. Gordon has his eyes on professional basketball once his NCAA eligibility is complete.
Now Gordon will play the waiting game. He says he'll be patient about listening to teams interested in visiting with him. His nervousness comes from wondering what teams will reach out to him. His current team - UMass - is the only team that's ever had a publicly out gay player in NCAA Div. 1. He hasn't received much media attention this season, and he hasn't heard any heckling from fans, but he's afraid a coach might be wary of those things.
Gordon started both seasons he played for the UMass Minutemen, so his chances of making it to another team for one season could be promising.