On April 30, 2013, President Barack Obama took to the White House podium to publicly praise Jason Collins, the NBA player who had come out as gay a day earlier. It was an extraordinary recognition of the power of Collins’ announcement, which still resonates today.

To say that Jason Collins is driven is an understatement.

“I would describe myself as driven and competitive,” says Collins in this exclusive interview, citing two traits that helped him thrive in a 13-season NBA career with nine teams. The numbers also speak volumes: 735 games played, 14,974 on-court minutes (almost 250 hours), and 918 baskets (including seven three-pointers, uncommon for a 7-foot center).

Since that April day, Collins has been a catalyst for change. He shattered barriers, becoming the first NBA player to come out and, a year later, the first openly gay man to play in the NBA Playoffs. His impact extends far beyond the court, as he has become a mentor to numerous athletes and coaches and a fervent advocate for full LGBTQ+ equality. His actions inspire hope for a more inclusive future.

In his video for Nissan, Collins reflects on two congratulatory phone calls that he initially dismissed as pranks. These calls were a testament to the significance of his actions. He discusses the importance of being a role model and the power of authenticity.

His words and deeds have transformed the sports world and society, making us all proud of his drive and achievements.