(AURN) -- Veteran NBA center Jason Collins has become the first active pro player in any sports to openly announce that he is gay.
Collins is 34 years old and has played with six different teams in 12 seasons including this past season with the Washington Wizards. He's now a free-agent and says he wants to continue playing. He says his teammates and other players know that he still has something to offer, but he can only do it if he is being authentic, genuine and truthful.
He says he started to think about coming out in 2011 during the NBA lockout when there was no basketball being played. Up until that time, Collins says the sport was a distraction and it kept him so busy he didn't have time to think about his sexuality.
The first relative he spoke to about being gay was an aunt in San Francisco who told him she knew it for years. Collins says her support provided him with a release that allowed him to accept his sexuality and go public.