JASON Collins is set to become the NBA’s first active openly-gay player after signing a short-term contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

The 35-year-old, 2.13m tall centre signed a 10-day contract with the Nets over the weekend and started on the bench in today’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Collins publicly came out last April in a self-penned Sports Illustrated article soon after he was let go by the Washington Wizards.

The ensuing publicity saw him hailed by the likes of US President Barack Obama, but despite a number of tryouts with NBA clubs since – the 13-year pro basketball veteran could not land a roster sport until the Nets came calling this week.

“We needed to increase our depth inside, and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract,” Nets general manager Billy King said while describing the move as a basketball decision.

Collins joins a veteran-heavy Nets team including Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson as well as Russian player Andrei Kirilenko.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver congratulated Collins on earning another contract with a team.

“Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team,” Silver said in a statement.

“Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal. I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment.”

Collins was one of the first earlier this month to congratulate University of Missouri gridiron footballer Michael Sam who is on track to become the NFL’s first openly-gay athlete should he be selected in May’s draft.

(Picture: Jason Collins during his time with Washington Wizards. Photo credit: Getty Images)

 

 

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