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He graduated from Harvard-Westlake School, where his backup was actor Jason Segel. Collins, playing alongside his twin brother, Jarron, won two California Interscholastic Federation state titles during his four-year career with a combined record of 123-10. Over those four years he broke the 31-year California rebounding record with over 1,500.

In a story that will appear in the May 6, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated, Collins announced publicly that he is gay, becoming the first active male professional athlete in United States team sports to publicly announce his homosexuality.

This story appears in the May 6, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated.

I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.

I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.