Candie Bosley

Written by Candie Bosley

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Jason Collins is a name that resonates in the world of sports, particularly in the basketball community. This remarkable athlete has left an indelible mark on the game, both for his skills on the court and for his off-court activism. With a career spanning over a decade in the NBA, Collins has become well-known and highly respected for being the first openly gay athlete in North American professional team sports.

But there is much more to Collins than just breaking barriers and making history. In this article, we will delve into 20 astounding facts about Jason Collins, exploring his personal life, his achievements, and his impact on the sports world. From his impressive statistics to his philanthropic endeavors, Collins’ story is one of determination, resilience, and a commitment to making a difference.

So, let’s delve into the fascinating world of Jason Collins and discover what makes him such an inspirational figure both on and off the basketball court.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jason Collins made history as the first openly gay NBA player, inspiring LGBTQ+ athletes and promoting acceptance in sports and beyond.
  • Collins’ impact goes beyond basketball, as he advocates for LGBTQ+ rights, shares his story, and continues to make a positive difference in the world.
Table of Contents

Jason Collins is the first openly gay player in the history of the NBA.

With his announcement in 2013, Collins became a trailblazer and an inspiration for LGBTQ+ athletes around the world. His courage and authenticity opened doors for greater acceptance and inclusion in the sports community.

He played college basketball for Stanford University.

Collins had an impressive college career, playing for Stanford from 1997 to He was an integral part of the team, helping lead the Cardinal to the Final Four in his senior year.

Jason Collins was selected in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft.

The Houston Rockets drafted Collins as the 18th overall pick. This marked the beginning of his professional basketball career in the NBA.

He has played for several teams during his NBA career.

Throughout his career, Collins played for various NBA teams, including the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards, and Brooklyn Nets.

Collins is known for his strong defensive skills.

His ability to defend the paint and contest shots made him a valuable asset to his teams. Collins was often tasked with guarding some of the NBA’s most talented and dominant players.

He has participated in the Olympic Games.

In 2008, Collins represented the United States in the Beijing Olympics, winning a gold medal as a member of the national basketball team.

Jason Collins is an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

Since coming out, Collins has been actively involved in promoting equality, inclusivity, and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. He has used his platform to raise awareness and foster positive change.

He has written a memoir about his journey.

Collins published his memoir titled “Coming Out to Play” in In this book, he shares his personal story, struggles, and triumphs, offering a glimpse into his life as an openly gay athlete.

Collins retired from professional basketball in 2014.

After 13 seasons in the NBA, Collins announced his retirement from basketball in November He left a lasting impact on the game and will always be remembered as a pioneer.

He has received numerous awards and honors.

Collins was recognized for his contributions both on and off the court. He received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2013 ESPYs and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2014.

Jason Collins is a twin.

He has a twin brother named Jarron, who also played basketball at Stanford University and had a career in the NBA.

Collins has appeared on several television shows.

He has made guest appearances on popular TV shows such as “Good Morning America,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and “Real Time with Bill Maher,” sharing his story and advocating for equality.

He has been involved in philanthropic endeavors.

Collins has used his platform to give back to the community. He has been involved with organizations such as the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Jason Collins has a strong educational background.

Aside from his basketball career, Collins holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

He has been a guest lecturer at universities.

Collins has shared his experiences and insights by speaking at various universities, including Harvard, Georgetown, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Collins has been recognized for his advocacy and leadership.

He has received numerous awards for his contributions, including the 2014 Lambda Legal Liberty Award and the 2015 Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award.

Jason Collins has made history in other sports as well.

Aside from his basketball achievements, Collins became the first openly gay active male professional athlete in any of the major American sports leagues.

He has been featured in documentaries and interviews.

Collins has been the subject of documentaries such as ESPN’s “Brothers in Exile” and has participated in interviews with renowned journalists and talk show hosts.

Collins has an impressive social media presence.

He actively engages with his followers on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, sharing updates, thoughts, and promoting social justice causes.

Jason Collins continues to inspire and make a positive impact.

His journey has paved the way for greater acceptance and inclusion in the world of sports. Collins remains an influential figure and an advocate for equality and social change.


Jason Collins is not only a trailblazer in professional sports but also an inspiration to countless individuals around the world. His courage in coming out as the first openly gay NBA player has had a profound impact on the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.

Through his remarkable career, Collins has left an indelible mark on the basketball world. He has played for several NBA teams, including the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards, and Brooklyn Nets. His defensive skills, leadership abilities, and dedication to the game have made him a respected figure on the court.

Off the court, Collins continues to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity in sports. He has used his platform to raise awareness about important issues, such as marriage equality and acceptance. His impact goes far beyond basketball, as he has become a symbol of courage and empowerment for individuals facing adversity.

With his achievements and contributions, Jason Collins has solidified his place in sports history. He has broken barriers, shattered stereotypes, and paved the way for future generations of athletes to be their authentic selves.


1. When did Jason Collins come out as gay?

Jason Collins made his groundbreaking announcement on April 29, 2013, becoming the first active male athlete in a major American professional sport to come out as gay.

2. How did Jason Collins’ coming out impact the sports world?

Jason Collins’ coming out had a significant impact on the sports world. It sparked important conversations about LGBTQ+ inclusion in professional sports and helped pave the way for more athletes to come out and live their truth.

3. What teams did Jason Collins play for during his NBA career?

Jason Collins played for several NBA teams, including the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets), Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards, and Brooklyn Nets.

4. What achievements did Jason Collins have during his career?

Although known primarily for his courage in coming out, Jason Collins also had a successful basketball career. He was known for his defensive prowess, rebounding abilities, and leadership skills.

5. What has Jason Collins done since retiring from professional basketball?

Since retiring from professional basketball, Jason Collins has become an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, equality, and inclusivity in sports. He has worked with organizations and spoken at events to promote acceptance and understanding.

Jason Collins' remarkable journey in the NBA and beyond serves as an inspiration to many. His courage, determination, and advocacy for equality have left an indelible mark on the world of sports and society as a whole. For more fascinating insights into the realm of professional basketball, explore our articles on NBA facts, basketball trivia, and the Brooklyn Nets.

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