List of Famous Gay Player in NBA Over The Time

list of gay player in nba

In a groundbreaking era of progress and inclusivity, the NBA has witnessed the courageous rise of a gay player in its ranks. Discover the inspiring personal stories of the gay player in nba who have fearlessly come out, defying stereotypes and sparking a transformative shift in the world of professional basketball. Join us as we delve into their experiences, challenges, triumphs, and the profound impact they have made on the NBA community and society as a whole.

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List of gay player in NBA

Coming out as gay in any professional sports league can be a daunting experience, and the NBA is no exception. Over the years, several brave NBA players have mustered the courage to publicly reveal their sexual orientation, breaking barriers and paving the way for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the world of basketball. Who are they?

John Amaechi

John Amaechi. a gay player in nba

In the bustling streets of Boston, Massachusetts, on November 26, 1970, a game-changer was born. John Amaechi, a force to be reckoned with, burst onto the basketball scene, dazzling fans with his electrifying skills. From the concrete courts of Stockport, England, he soared to college basketball glory at Vanderbilt and Penn State, leaving defenders in his wake. The NBA beckoned, and Amaechi answered with a thunderous slam, rocking the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz, and Houston Rockets with his unstoppable talent. But his impact reached far beyond the hardwood.

In a seismic moment of truth, Amaechi fearlessly shattered barriers, becoming the first NBA player to proudly declare his gay identity in 2007. His boldness sparked a wildfire of change, igniting a revolution of acceptance and empowerment. Amaechi’s crusade for LGBTQ+ rights has reverberated across the globe, as he fearlessly broadcasts his message of equality on prestigious platforms like the BBC and ESPN.

Jason Collins

Jason Collins

Jason Collins, a towering presence both on and off the court, etched his name in sports history as the first openly gay active player in the NBA. He was born on December 2, 1978 in Northridge, California. Jason played college basketball at Stanford University and was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 2001. He played for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. Collins came out as gay in 2013, becoming the first active male athlete in a major North American professional team sport to do so . He retired from basketball in 2014.

Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner, gay player in nba

Born on October 18, 1990, in the fierce heart of Houston, Texas, Brittney Griner was destined to redefine the game of basketball. With an explosive college career at Baylor University, she left defenders trembling in her wake. The Phoenix Mercury recognized her unrivaled talent, snatching her up in the 2013 draft. Since then, Griner has become an unstoppable force, dominating the court like a warrior queen.

But her greatness extends beyond her jaw-dropping skills. In 2013, Griner fearlessly declared her truth, proudly shining as one of the LGBTQ+ community’s brightest stars. Her authenticity only added to her legend, solidifying her status as one of the most dominant players in women’s basketball history. With three WNBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and four All-WNBA First Team selections, Griner’s accolades reflect her indomitable spirit and her unwavering commitment to excellence.

Sheryl Swoopes

Sheryl Swoopes

In the small town of Brownfield, Texas, on March 25, 1971, a basketball superstar was born. Sheryl Swoopes, a force of nature, unleashed her explosive skills on the courts of Texas Tech University, leaving opponents in awe. The Houston Comets recognized her brilliance and snatched her up in 1997, setting the stage for her meteoric rise. From the Comets to the Seattle Storm and Tulsa Shock, Swoopes electrified the game with her jaw-dropping talent.

But her greatness extended beyond the court. In 2005, Swoopes fearlessly shattered expectations, proudly announcing her authentic self to the world. Her incredible journey as a gay player in nba mirrors her accomplishments, as she etches her name among the pantheon of basketball legends. With three WNBA MVP awards, four championship rings, and three Olympic gold medals adorning her illustrious career, Swoopes stands tall as one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time.

Sue Wicks

sue wicks nba

Sue Wicks was born on November 26, 1966 in Center Moriches, New York. She played college basketball at Rutgers University and was drafted by the New York Liberty in 1997. She played for the Liberty until 2002.

But her impact extended far beyond the game. In 2002, Wicks fearlessly embraced her truth, proudly announcing her identity to the world. A beacon of inspiration, she carved her name among the greatest women’s basketball players of all time. With two dazzling appearances on the WNBA All-Star team, Wicks proved that her star power knew no bounds.

Bill Kennedy

Bill Kennedy was born on October 9, 1965 in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a former NBA referee who officiated over 1,000 games during his career. He came out as gay in 2016 after being called a homophobic slur by Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo.

Other famous gay basketball players

Besides gay players in NBA, over the world, there are other brave players deciding to come out and support for LGBT communities in sport. Explore the list of  famous gay basketball player

Isaac Humphries

Isaac Humphries was born on January 5, 1998 in Sydney, Australia. He played college basketball at the University of Kentucky and was signed by the Atlanta Hawks in 2017. He has also played for the Erie BayHawks and Melbourne United. Humphries became Australia’s first active male professional basketball player to come out as gay on November 16, 2022.

Uri Kokia

Uri Kokia is an Israeli professional basketball coach and a former professional basketball player. He was born on May 14, 19811. He is the current head coach for Ironi Ramat Gan of the Liga Artzit1. Uri Kokia came out publicly as gay in an interview with in 2017. He is the first male professional basketball player in Israel to do so. Kokia played as a center/power forward position and was a member of the Israel national basketball team.

Marco Lehmann

Marco Lehmann is a Swiss professional basketball player who came out publicly as gay in an essay and video through The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) in 2021. He has played full-court basketball professionally since 2012. Lehmann is a professional 3×3 basketball player and plays for Team Lausanne. He has also helped lead Switzerland to two FIBA 3×3 Europe Cup appearances.

Sebastián Vega

Sebastián Vega is a professional basketball player in Argentina who came out as gay by publishing a letter on his social media in 2020. He plays for Gimnasia de Comodoro which is one of the teams in the country’s top league. Vega is 33 years old and is one of the few openly LGBTQ Argentine athletes. He said he feared he wouldn’t have received support as recently as five years ago. His post attracted a lot of support and his team embraced him after he came out.


In a league traditionally marked by stereotypes and expectations, the emergence of gay player in NBA has shattered barriers, ignited conversations, and paved the way for a more inclusive future. From Jason Collins to John Amaechi, these brave individuals have fearlessly embraced their true selves, inspiring countless others to do the same. Their stories of courage, resilience, and acceptance remind us that being a gay player in the NBA is not a limitation but a testament to the strength of diversity and the power of authenticity. As the NBA continues to champion inclusivity, these trailblazers serve as beacons of hope, forever changing the game both on and off the court.

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