Jason Collins has reached a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets, becoming the first openly gay athlete to play in major professional basketball after coming out last May.
The free agent, 35, will be available to play on Sunday when the Nets play the Los Angeles Lakers in the Staples Center, Yahoo Sports reports. Having played parts of seven years with the Nets between 2001-08, Collins is a veteran of the team, and Nets coach Jason Kidd has advocated signing him. He also played with the Celtics and completed the 2012-’13 with the Celtics.
Collins came out last year in an article published in Sports Illustrated, but has since gone without a job offer for the NBA preseason and regular season. His current agreement with the Nets comes after the team was unable to sign Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who instead went to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Collins said last year he struggled with his sexuality for his entire career, but revealing his sexual orientation made it much easier to live happily.
“The most you can do is stand up for what you believe in,” Collins said when he came out. “I’m much happier since coming out to my friends and family. Being genuine and honest makes me happy.”