Will Sheridan, the gay former Villanova and Delaware high school basketball player, will this month be inducted into the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame. He may be the first publicly out gay basketball player inducted into a state basketball hall of fame.
Sheridan came out publicly as gay a decade ago, becoming only the second former D1 men’s basketball player to come out as gay.
Even when Sheridan came out in 2011, Outsports was already trying to help LGBTQ people see that coming out on a team was not a death knell.
As ESPN.com wrote then:
The locker room dynamic, team chemistry, none of it changed. He and [teammate and roommate Mike] Nardi would room together for three of their four seasons and Sheridan remained a popular teammate and vital part of the Wildcats’ success.
The players joked the way they always joked, talked the way they always talked.
Playing in high school for the legendary Stan Waterman at Sanford School in Hockessin, outside of Wilmington, Sheridan became the only men’s basketball player to ever win back-to-back Delaware Gatorade Player of the Year.
He and his team won a state championship his junior year. He was a top-100 recruit on virtually every list — and some top-50 and top-25 lists — coming out of high school.
Yet growing up wasn’t always easy for Sheridan. Before he became a basketball star, he was the target of some not-so-nice banter.
“The same people that teased me and alienated me are the same people that wanted me to be on their team,” Sheridan said. “It really taught me perspective, and I never forgot what it felt like to be an outsider.”
Sheridan is now a performer and DJ.
“Some people code switch,” Sheridan said, “but with my life experience, I’d say I’m the code creator. I live in so many worlds and that’s beautiful.”
The Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 23, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Newark, Del.