Gay basketball player Derrick Gordon has said that being in the closet took a huge toll on him, and that he cried most nights before he came out.

The University of Massachusetts player became the first ever first division men’s basketball player to come out last week, and said he was inspired by gay NBA player Jason Collins.

He told SiriusXM Progress yesterday: “I was going back and forth debating whether I wanted to come out or not.

“I cried most of the nights when I was in the closet, because it starts to take a toll on you… just because you’re worried about how people are going to think about you and what they’re going to say about you.

“When you come out, it changes a lot of things you would have never expected.

“I thought, if I’m going to be the first one to do it, then I’m going to be the first one to do it, and be the leader of it, and help people out in other ways so they can live life the way I’m living it.

“As long as my family accepted me, it didn’t really matter what others thought of me.

“I never would have ever thought in my life that I would have talked to the people who got in contact with me lately.”

Gordon also urged other gay sports-people to go public, and said the time was right for more people to come out.

He said: “Don’t wait until you’re 35, 40 years old and you’re done playing the sport that you love, because it’s stressful to live that way.”

“Take advantage of everything that you have in front of you, don’t wait because you’re scared about somebody knowing who you really are.”