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Derrick Gordon picks Seton Hall: Openly gay player transfers

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Derrick Gordon, Division I's first openly gay basketball player, transfers to Seton Hall.Steven Senne/AP

Derrick Gordon, Division I’s first openly gay basketball player, transfers to Seton Hall.

Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay player in Division I college basketball, is transferring to Seton Hall.

The Plainfield, N.J., product announced his move on his Twitter account Sunday afternoon.

“It’s been a long recruiting process…But happy to say I will be going to Seton Hall University!!!…Can’t wait to play for Coach Willard.”

Gordon, who had been playing at UMass, came out last April, following the announcements of Missouri linebacker Michael Sam and former Net Jason Collins.

Gordon’s decision comes two days after Rev. Warren Hall, a campus priest who ministered to the school’s athletic teams, was fired.

Hall tweeted on Friday he was “fired from SHU for posting a pic on FB (facebook) supporting LGBT NO H8. I’m sorry it was met with this response. I’ll miss my work here.”

The school said the Newark Archbishop John Myers made the decision.

Gordon, speaking on the school’s radio station Sunday night, said he was aware of the firing, but felt comfortable on the South Orange campus.

“When I visited the campus today everybody made me feel comfortable,” Gordon told WSOU. “I was there with my family. They made me feel comfortable to the point where it was a safe environment, even with the situation that happened with the priest two days ago. It felt like a family environment, and that was very big for me in my book. The visit went better than what I expected.”

MARCH 21, 2014 FILE PHOTOGerry Broome/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gordon averages nearly 10 points, five rebounds and three assists per game last season.

The 6-3 guard, who played his high school ball at St. Patrick’s in Elizabeth, described the transfer as a “win-win situation.”

“It’s about 25 minutes away from my house. The Big East is one of the top conferences in the country,” said Gordon, who also has played at Western Kentucky. I’ll be able to go there and play to my full potential that I know I can. I couldn’t be happier.”

Gordon told USA Today on Sunday that he was not being recruited by some schools because of his sexuality, but that was not the case at Seton Hall.

“As long as I’m accepted, that’s all that really matters to me,” Gordon told the radio station. “We’re all in a society now where there are people who accept it and people who don’t accept it. Regardless of where I go, it’s always going to be like that.”

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