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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN " JASON PAUL COLLINS " IS A PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL CENTER WHO LAST PLAYED WITH THE WASHINGTON WIZARDS OF THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (NBA) BECAME THE FIRST ACTIVE MALE PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE IN A MAJOR NORTH AMERICAN TEAM SPORTS TO COME OUT PUBLICLY AS GAY : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK HEROES "

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Jason Paul Collins  born December 2, 1978  is an American professional basketball center who last played with the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Collins attended Stanford University, where he was an All-American in 2000–01. He was selected in the first round with the 18th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft.
On April 29, 2013, Collins became the first active male professional athlete in a major North American team sport to come out publicly as gay.

Early life

Collins was born in North ridge, California. He was born eight minutes ahead of his twin brother Jarron, who also became an NBA player.
They graduated from Harvard-West lake School in Los Angeles. He and Jarron won two California Interscholastic Federation state titles during their four-year careers with a combined record of 123–10. Collins broke the California career rebounding record with 1,500. Collins was backed up by Jason Segel, who USA Today opined might have ended up being the most famous player from the team.

College career

Collins played with brother Jarron for the Stanford Cardinal in the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10). In 2001, Collins was named to All-Pac-10 first team, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) voted him to their third-team All-American team.
He finished his college career ranked first in Stanford history for field goal percentage (.608) and third in blocked shots (89).

Professional career

New Jersey Nets

As a rookie along with Richard Jefferson, Collins played a significant role in the New Jersey Nets' first ever NBA Finals berth in 2002 against the Los Angeles Lakers. During this Finals appearance, Collins acknowledged that he is not really 7 feet tall as he has been listed since his junior year of college. He is actually about 4 inches shorter.
In the 2002–03 NBA season Collins took over the starting center role for the Nets and helped the franchise back to the NBA Finals. Prior to the 2004–05 season, he signed a $25 million contract extension with New Jersey for five more years.

Memphis Grizzlies

On February 4, 2008, Collins was traded along with cash considerations to the Memphis Grizzlies for Stromile Swift.

Minnesota Timberwolves

On June 26, 2008, Collins was dealt to the Minnesota Timber wolves in an eight-player deal involving Kevin Love and O. J. Mayo. After his contract expired at the end of the 2008–09 NBA season, the Timber wolves' management decided not to re-sign him.

Atlanta Hawks

Collins signed with the Atlanta Hawks on September 2, 2009.[ Collins re-signed with the Hawks in the 2010 off season.
In 2010–11, the fifth-seeded Hawks defeated the fourth-seeded Orlando Magic as Collins slowed the Magic's dominant center, Dwight Howard. After Game 4 in the series, then-Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy called Collins' play "the best defense on [Howard] all year".

Boston Celtics

On July 31, 2012, Collins signed an undisclosed deal with the Boston Celtics.

Washington Wizards

On February 21, 2013, Collins and Leandro Barbosa were traded to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Jordan Crawford.
Collins became a free agent in July 2013. He has stated that he intends to pursue another contract.

Player profile

Through the 2012–13 season, Collins had very low career averages in the NBA of 3.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, and 41 percent shooting from the field. He has never averaged more than seven points or seven rebounds in a season. However, the basketball an a lytics community valued his defense through measurements not typically found in a box score, namely his ability to increase the differential between his team's scoring and their opponents'. Collins is a physical player defending the post, boxes out well, and excels at setting screens. He also has a reputation for being a team leader.

Personal life

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Collins was in an 8 year relationship with former WNBA center Carolyn Moos, and the two were engaged to be married, but Collins called off the wedding in 2009.[19]
In the cover story of the May 6, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, written by Collins himself and posted on the magazine's website on April 29, 2013, he came out as gay, becoming the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publicly do so. He wrote that he wished to maintain his privacy in regard to specific details of his personal life, and that he is not in a relationship. Collins also said a "notorious anti gay hate crime", the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998, led him to choose "98" for his jersey number, in Shepard's honor. Collins called the number "a statement to myself, my family and my friends."

Reactions to coming out

Following his announcement, Collins has received high praise and support for deciding to publicly reveal that he is gay. Fellow NBA star Kobe Bryant praised his decision, as did others from around the league, including NBA commissioner David Stern. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton, and Collins' corporate sponsor Nike were also among those offering their praise and support for Collins. However,ESPN basketball analyst Chris Broussard stated that he did not believe that Collins can "live an openly homosexual lifestyle" and be a Christian, but thought that Collins "displayed bravery with his announcement". Collins, a Christian, responded by saying "This is all about tolerance and acceptance and America is the best country in the world because we're all entitled to our opinions and beliefs but we don't have to agree. And obviously I don't agree with his statement."The Guardian called it significant for LGBT acceptance "as professional sports had long been seen as the final frontier." Given the interest in major league team sports in the United States, the Christian Science Monitor wrote that Collins' announcement was "likely to put wind in the sails of this trend" of acceptance of gay rights in U.S. public opinion. Former tennis player Martina Navratilova, who came out as a lesbian in 1981, called Collins a "game-changer" for team sports, which she referred to as one of the last areas where homophobia remained.
Collins' former fiancee, Carolyn Moos, expressed conflicted feelings and said she only learned Collins was gay shortly before the Sports Illustrated cover story.
On the day it was released, the Sports Illustrated story drew a record 3.713 million visitors to the magazine’s website, SI.com.