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basketball player with kids Isn't that a cute photo at left of that college athlete and the adorable kidsters?  No doubt some sort of charity event or a promotion of playing sports.  All the main basketball giants on this page, and they are humongous, had successful careers and do lots of charity work. Charity work is very appealing to these successful athletes, perhaps because they have so much money they don't have to work for a living. Plus, pro sports is a cruel user of sexy tall guys. I am talking HOLLYWOOD level cruel. So getting out of that environment and doing something to help others must be very rewarding to them.  Plus it's sometimes tax deductible.

Ersan  Ilyasova
Ersan İlyasova (born 1987) is a Turkish professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has previously played in Turkey, Spain and the NBA Development League. After playing with the youth team of Ülkerspor, İlyasova played professionally in the Turkish Basketball League with the senior squad of Ülkerspor during the 2004–05 season, averaging 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in eleven games. 

İlyasova was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 36th overall pick of the 2005 NBA draft. In July 2005, he joined the Bucks for the 2005 NBA Summer League. On August 22, 2005, he signed with the Bucks. On November 14, 2005, he was assigned to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, an assignment that lasted the entire 2005–06 season. In 46 games for the 66ers, he averaged 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. İlyasova made his NBA debut for the Bucks on November 1, 2006 in a 105–97 win over the Detroit Pistons. In 2006–07, he played 66 games for the Bucks, averaging 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. In June 2007, the Bucks tendered a qualifying offer to İlyasova to make him a restricted free agent.

In July 2009, İlyasova signed a multi-year deal to return to the Milwaukee Bucks. On August 3, 2011, İlyasova signed with Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball League for the duration of the NBA lockout. In December 2011, he returned to the Bucks following the conclusion of the lockout. On February 19, 2012, İlyasova set new career-highs with 29 points and 25 rebounds against the New Jersey Nets, becoming just the third Bucks player in franchise history to record at least 25 points and 25 rebounds in a game, after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (10 times) and Swen Nater (once). The feat had not been achieved for more than 35 years. He subsequently earned the Player of the Week award for his performances from March 5–11. On July 12, 2012, İlyasova re-signed with the Bucks on a multi-year deal. On March 27, 2014, İlyasova was ruled out for the remainder of the 2013–14 season due to a right ankle injury. On March 26, 2015, İlyasova scored a career-high 34 points in a 111-107 win over the Indiana Pacers.

In 2015 he got traded to the Detroit Pistons. Ick, Detroit!  Fortunately in 2016 he moved to sunny Florida to play for the Orlando Magics.  Whew!

Eric Montross
Eric Scott Montross (born 1971) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the NBA. Born in Indianapolis he played for Lawrence North High School before enrolling to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to play for the Tar Heels.

Playing for Lawrence North High School, he was selected as a McDonald's All American in 1990. That same year, he was named to the USA Today All-USA first Team. After leading Lawrence North to the Indiana high school basketball championship Montross committed himself to the North Carolina. He was part of the UNC team that won the NCAA Championship against Michigan in 1993 and was named an All-American as a junior and senior. Ironically, Montross' father and grandfather had played for Michigan. His father Scott was a teammate of Cazzie Russell in the 1960s and his grandfather John Townsend was an All-American in the 1930s. In 4 seasons at UNC, Montross appeared in 139 games, averaging 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. In 1994, he started the Eric Montross Fathers Day Basketball Camp. The camp helped raise thousands of dollars for UNC hospitals and still does.

Montross was selected by the Boston Celtics with the ninth overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. During his first year in the NBA, he averaged 10 points per game, and was selected to the 1995 Rookie All-Star Game and named to the NBA All-Rookie 2nd Team. However, Montross would never again reach this level of production. The Celtics came under fire for selecting Montross over players such as Eddie Jones, Jalen Rose, and Aaron McKie. During his career in the NBA, Montross played with the Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, and the Toronto Raptors. Montross announced his retirement on August 26, 2003, due to a foot injury and was waived by the Raptors in February, 2004. During his career, Montross averaged 4.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.7 blocks and 0.4 assists per game. He played in 465 games and started 263.

Montross is now color commentator on UNC's basketball broadcasts, working alongside play-by-play man Jones Angell. With the Pan-American Health Organization, Montross co-founded an organization called Vaccine Ambassadors, which aims to distribute vaccines all over the world, especially to developing countries, and help children.

Jason Collins
Jason Paul Collins (born December 2, 1978) is a retired American professional basketball player who played 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for Stanford University where he was an All-American in 2000–01, before being drafted 18th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets. He went on to play for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets.

After the 2012–13 NBA season concluded, Collins publicly came out as gay. He became a free agent and did not play again until February 2014, when he signed with the Nets and became the first publicly gay athlete to play in any of four major North American pro sports leagues. In April 2014, Collins featured on the cover of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World".

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).

He went on to an NBA career from 2002-2014 with the New Jersey Nets, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Atlanta Hawks, the Boston Celtics, the Washington WIzards and the Brooklyn Nets. That a lot of moving vans!

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 antigay 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.

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.

On the day it was released, the Sports Illustrated story drew a record 3.713 million visitors to the magazine’s website,

Kelly Olynyk
Kelly Tyler Olynyk (born 1991) is a Canadian professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was an NCAA All-American while playing for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Born in Toronto, Olynyk moved to Kamloops, British Columbia in grade 7. He was studying for a Master of Business Administration at Gonzaga University, having earned a bachelor's degree in accounting in December 2012 with a 3.53 GPA. He announced on April 19, his 22nd birthday, that he would forgo his senior year and declare for the NBA draft. Olynyk was selected with the 13th overall pick by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2013 NBA draft and immediately traded to the Boston Celtics. He also represents Canada in international competitions.

Unlike many elite Canadian prospects in the early 21st century, he never attended a U.S. high school or prep school; he instead stayed home at South Kamloops Secondary School, exposing himself to U.S. competition and coaches while playing on provincial teams – competing at Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and non-AAU tournaments in the States – and the Canadian junior national team. Olynyk developed as a point guard, continuing to play the position even after growing from 6'3" (1.90 m) to 6'10" (2.08 m) in grade 11. Olynyk was named the Basketball BC outstanding high school player of the year in his grade 12 year, leading his South Kamloops Titans to a 36–2 record and a third-place finish at the BC AAA High School Boys' Basketball Championships. Olynyk was also a quarterback for the Titans when he was in high school and broke his arm during a playoff game in 2007.

Olynyk played college basketball at Gonzaga from 2009 to 2013. He was mostly a bench player for the Bulldogs in his freshman and sophomore years, averaging around 12 to 13 minutes per game. In order to improve his game and get stronger, Gonzaga and Olynyk agreed that he would redshirt his junior year (2011–12), meaning he would practice with the team, but not play. Olynyk returned to the Bulldogs lineup for the first game of the 2012–13 season, and had a great season, being selected as a Consensus First-Team All-American, as well as to the 2012–13 Academic All-America first team. Following his redshirted junior year, he opted for the NBA draft, thereby forgoing his senior year.

As of 2016 he has played for the Boston Celtics for three years.

Let's face facts.  There are gobs of Gay and Bisexual men in organized sports (possibly even women too).  They don't get girls pregnant so they can concentrate on their careers without having to raise kids and give up their sports dreams.  Jason Collins became the first CURRENT American athlete in one of the four major sports (sorry soccer) to come out of the closet while still on the job.  ABC News reporter George Stephanopoulis interviews him to find out what it was like to do this ... and to get a phone call from the President Obama!


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