Seton Hall presents 'great situation' for Derrick Gordon

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay Division I men's basketball player, is transferring to Seton Hall for his senior season.

Gordon announced his decision Sunday.

"I'm walking into a great situation," Gordon told USA Today Sports. "This gives me a chance to showcase what I can really do in one of the best conferences [the Big East] in the country, in the national spotlight."

The guard told USA Today that a number of schools weren't interested in him due to his sexual orientation, calling it "blatant homophobia."

"Honestly, it caught me off-guard. It really hurt. It had me stressing, crying. I was starting to lose hope," he said. "I felt like I was being treated like an outsider, like I didn't belong in the NCAA. I couldn't believe it because I'm a good player and they were looking at the opposite -- something that doesn't mean anything with my [sexuality]. ... 'Nah, not the gay guy.'"

He said he expects a smooth transition when he joins the Pirates.

"Coach [Kevin Willard] has already talked to the players, and they said, 'As long as he helps us win, we're going to be his brother.' It's about what I can do for the team," Gordon told USA Today Sports. "...Obviously, me being on the team will be a new experience for everyone involved. This is another new chapter for me."

His addition will help Seton Hall replace leading scorer Sterling Gibbs, who announced he is transferring to UConn over the weekend.

Gordon, who announced he is gay in April 2014, left the UMass program in March after averaging 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game last season.

Before joining the Minutemen, Gordon played one season at Western Kentucky. He considered transferring to Seton Hall at that time, having played in high school in nearby Elizabeth, New Jersey.