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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Local basketball player makes waves nationally


A local basketball player made big headlines and national news this week and was on MSN Fox Sports:

 
 
College hoopster opens up about coming out
 
 
Benedictine College's Jallen Messersmith adjusting to becoming a national story

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With each passing day, the closet becomes a little less crowded, a little less scary, a little less dark and sheltered. Jallen Messersmith isn’t doing this for applause or a shoe deal or a reality show or martyrdom. This isn’t about being the wrecking ball; it’s about being another link in the chain that swings it. It’s about a cycle in which the news isn’t news anymore.

“I think it’s just inevitable for it to happen everywhere,” says Messersmith, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward at Benedictine (Kan.) College, believed to be the first active openly gay player in U.S. men’s college basketball.

“At this point, it’s just going to happen (where) it slowly becomes less and less of a (newsworthy) thing, and people are becoming more and more comfortable with it. And I think it’s just a matter of time before it happens in every sport.”

Messersmith, a native of the Kansas City suburb of Blue Springs, Mo., came out to his teammates last fall, and then to the rest of the world on Tuesday, via Outsports.com, a story that has since gone national. To Jallen, the point wasn’t the trailblazing, but the trail itself. After all, what good is carving a path that nobody else has the stones to follow?

And good--no, great, for him.

Are we Americans or not? Are we about equality or not? Isn't that who we're supposed to be and what we're supposed to be about?

And the thing is, if you're under, say, 30? 35 years old?  maybe even older--it's not even an issue.  Not remotely.

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