The big news today is NBA player Jason Collins becoming the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. I covered Collins when he was a star basketball player at Harvard-Westlake school in Studio City.
He and his twin brother, Jarron, led their team to the CIF title the year I covered them and eventually went to Stanford. What I remember about Jason Collins was that he was polite and very. very quiet. This line from his article in Sports Illustrated today struck a chord with me.
“I’ve always been scared of saying the wrong thing,” Collins said.
I think he probably felt that way in high school too. One time he came to visit our offices to take a picture and I remember how he asked later if he could have a copy of the photo mailed to him.
It was a rare moment when he let his guard down and revealed a little bit of his personality. I was grateful he did. Now that he has come out, I hope he feels free to always speak his mind without reservation.