US: High school basketball coach ‘blown away’ by team’s reaction as he comes out as gay
A high school basketball coach has made headlines, by standing in front of his team and coming out as gay.
Anthony Nicodemo, who coaches basketball at Saunders High School in Yonkers, New York, told MSGVarsity.com, that he stood in front of his team and told them he is gay.
He said: “I am a gay high school basketball coach,” continuing to say he was relieved at their reaction.
“My fear was today,” he said. “My fear was meeting with my team. They blew me away today.”
The 35-year-old is well known in the local basketball community, and is the chairman of his region’s coaches association, as well as a representative of the Basketball Colleges Association of New York.
Prior to coming out, Nicodemo visited his school’s administration and his assistant coaches and friends, as well as inviting the parents of his team to attend his coming-out meeting.
“At the end of the day, we have to get in the gym and work on our game,” Saunders junior guard Joe Nolan told MSGVarsity.com.
“We can’t worry about what people say to us or what people are going to think. We are here to play basketball. If you have love for the game, it doesn’t matter if your coach is gay or not, you’re going to play for the love of the game.”
Nicodemo is one of very few openly gay members of the basketball community. He said he was inspired to come out by a visit last weekend to an LGBT event sponsored by Nike, at which he met recently-out openly gay NBA player Jason Collins.
“It was an eye-opening experience,” Nicodemo said. “It was life changing.”