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Jason Collins

Category: NBA
Fee Range: $10,000 – $20,000

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Biography:

Jason Collins is an American professional basketball player who became the first openly gay athlete in any of the four major U.S. sports when he signed a contract with the Brooklyn Nets on February 23, 2014. Jason played in the NBA from 2001 to 2013 before becoming a free agent and getting picked up by the Nets. Jason came out publicly and was the cover story of a May issue of Sports Illustrated. The piece was written by Jason himself and he received a warm reception from then NBA Commissioner David Stern, President Obama and other players in the NBA including Kobe Bryant.

Sports Speaker Jason was a talented high school basketball center and won 2 state championships alongside actor Jason Segal and his brother Jarron who would also play in the NBA. The brothers also played at Stanford where Jason was named to the All-Pac-10 first team in his senior season in 2001. In his first two seasons in the NBA, Jason would help the New Jersey Nets to 2 straight NBA Finals, the franchise’s first 2 appearances ever in the Finals. He would remain with the Nets until 2008 when he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and again later that year to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal for young prospects Kevin Love and O.J. Mayo. Over the next four years Jason would play for 3 more teams the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, and Washington Wizards before becoming a free agent. Although Jason’s career numbers sit just below 4 points and 4 rebounds a game, Jason was heralded for his defense and his ability to greatly impact the scoring abilities of the opposing center.

After his announcement in Sports Illustrated, Jason made appearances on several TV shows including Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel, Oprah’s Next Chapter, and Inside the NBA with Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neil and Ernie Johnson.