Pride On The Court is expanding, even in the face of attacks and criticism.
The LGBTQ-inclusion event, organized by openly gay high school basketball coach Anthony Nicodemo, will include both men’s and women’s basketball teams from both high school and college this year, in addition to a working lunch for athletes on diversity and making their teams more welcoming for LGBTQ people.
Last year’s event was targeted by the local Section One overseeing board, forcing Nicodemo and another coach to sit out their first games of the 2018-19 season. That simply made Nicodemo’s commitment to his inclusion event stronger.
“Being targeted last year made me want to see this years event grow,” Nicodemo told Outsports. “It was clear that Section One choose to attack a terrific event that promoted LGBTQ inclusion and I’ve taken that personal. These types of event help save lives and leaders need to understand that.”
Section One has failed to return various requests for comment.
This year’s event will feature speaker Chris Mosier, a trans athlete who has made history competing in multiple World Duathlon Championships. Duathlon is like a triathlon sans swimming.
“The more I speak with groups of people and share my journey as an out transgender athlete,” Mosier said, “the more I know that one of my purposes in life is to help young people feel seen, validated, and appreciated for who they are, and to send the message that if they are true to themselves and work hard, the possibilities for their lives are limitless.
For Nicodemo, Mosier’s participation at the event is both important and timely.
“Having local athletes listen to Chris Mosier is what I’m most excited about,” Nicodemo said. “Chris is a legend and pioneer and to be able to focus on trans issues the same week that GENDA passes in NYS is poetic.”