Q: What do you do when you aren't good enough to play in the NBA?
Amaechi will be first publicly gay NBA player
John Amaechi is gay, and now the first NBA player to come out publicly is ready to talk about it.
Amaechi, a center who spent five seasons with four teams, is scheduled to appear on ESPN's Outside the Lines on Sunday, and his autobiography "Man in the Middle," will be released Feb. 14.
He is coming out of the closet as a gay man," Amaechi's publicist Howard Bragman said Wednesday.
Three years after his playing career ended, Amaechi has become the sixth professional male athlete from one of the four major American sports (NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL) to publicly discuss his homosexuality.
Former NFL running back David Kopay came out in 1977; offensive lineman Roy Simmons and defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo came out more recently. Glenn Burke, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland A's in the 1970s, and Billy Bean, a utility player in the 1980s and 1990s, also have come out.
Amaechi, 36, who is British, competed for Penn State, then played 301 NBA games over five seasons. The 6-foot-10 center averaged 6.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in the NBA. He began his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1995-96, then spent a few years playing in Europe. He rejoined the NBA to play for the Orlando Magic from 1999-01, then played two seasons for the Utah Jazz.