Collins deal is a first for NBA
Jason Collins is to become the first openly gay player in NBA history after signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets.
The 35-year-old centre will be available for Sunday night's game with the Los Angeles Lakers and becomes the first openly gay active player in any of North America's major sports.
General manager Billy King told his club's website: "The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision.
"We needed to increase our depth inside, and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract."
Collins revealed his sexuality 10 months ago, but has not played in the NBA since April 2013 with the Washington Wizards. He has spent this season working out privately after failing to earn any pre-season interest as a free agent.
John Amaechi, the British player who appeared in the NBA for Cleveland, Orlando, Utah and Houston in his career, did not reveal his sexuality until 2007, four years after he had left the league.
News of Collins' signing comes after much discussion about the likelihood of an openly gay player joining the NFL this year. Michael Sam, a defensive end from the University of Missouri, is expected to be selected in May's NFL draft, having come out as gay earlier this month.