The Dagger
  • Derrick Gordon (USATSI)

    Long before Derrick Gordon revealed to his teammates he was gay during a team meeting last Wednesday afternoon, UMass coach Derek Kellogg suspected his sophomore guard was unhappy about something.

    "There were a few occasions where he'd roll off by himself rather than with the rest of his teammates or he'd leave the Mullins Center looking like something was on his mind," Kellogg said. "We'd ask him and he'd say he was fine, but he clearly had some things he was wrestling with in his life."

    What Kellogg has learned since Gordon's announcement is the 6-foot-3 New Jersey native was more isolated and depressed than he'd realized.

    Tired of hiding who he was from his teammates and coaches yet unsure if they would accept him, Gordon avoided going to parties or meals with his teammates, regularly sequestered himself in his room or in the weight room and often cried himself to sleep at nights. He even pondered giving up basketball, quite a statement for a kid who credits the sport with lifting

    Read More »from Derrick Gordon coming out is important because the UMass guard will inspire others
  • Derrick Gordon (AP)

    Nearly a year after Jason Collins became the first active NBA player to publicly reveal that he's gay, the New Jersey Nets center's bravery has inspired a college player to feel comfortable doing the same.

    Derrick Gordon (via Instagram)UMass guard Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay Division I basketball player when he revealed his sexuality in articles published by Outsports.com and ESPN.com on Wednesday morning. One week earlier, Gordon informed his teammates he was gay at a team meeting, a revelation that was met first with surprise and immediately afterward with support.

    "I have the most profound respect for Derrick and the decision he has made to come out publicly," UMass coach Derek Kellogg tweeted Wednesday. "He is a model student, a terrific competitor, but most importantly, he is a wonderful human being. We know his decision weighed heavily on him for some time, but as a coaching staff, a team and a family, we stressed to him that we support him in every way possible."

    Gordon told ESPN.com that he

    Read More »from UMass guard Derrick Gordon becomes first openly gay male D-I basketball player
  • Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old cancer patient who lived up to her Twitter name @adorablelacey, has died, according to her family. Holsworth became friends with Michigan State's Adreian Payne and accompanied him throughout the Spartans' run to the Big Ten championship and the NCAA tournament.

    Holsworth's family announced her passing via social media:

    Holsworth suffered from neuroblastoma, cancer discovered in 2011 after she suffered pain while dancing. Doctors found tumors on her kidney and spine severe enough to restrict her movement. During their many public appearances together, Payne would often carry Holsworth, including a trip up the ladder to cut down the nets after Michigan State's Big Ten championship victory.

    Lacey Holsworth and Adreian Payne. Special to Yahoo Sports.

    Payne and Holsworth appeared frequently together, most recently at a slam-dunk championship last week in Dallas. Payne's Twitter account is full of references to Holsworth, including pictures and quotes of inspiration.

    Read More »from Lacey Holsworth, friend of MSU's Adreian Payne, has died
  • Recap | Box Score

    12:01 a.m. ET -- Geno Auriemma is done at the podium and so are our live updates. Do check Yahoo Sports and our college women's basketball page for most postgame coverage.

    11:45 -- Breanna Stewart becomes the fifth-two time Most Outstanding Player, joining Cheryl Miller, Chamique Holdslaw, Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker. And Stewart has two more seasons to play.

    11:29 -- All-tournament team: Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame; Kayla McBride, Notre Dame; Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, UConn; Stefanie Dolson, UConn; (Most Outstanding Player) Breanna Stewart, UConn

    11:18 -- UConn celebrates again for a second consecutive night.

    11:14 -- Looks like Breanna Stewart, Stefanie Dolson and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis to join Geno Auriemma at the podium after Auriemma is done with a live ESPN interview that just began.

    11:07 -- Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma cuts down the net.

    11:01 -- Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw has left the podium, and Connecticut players and coach Geno Auriemma will be up

    Read More »from How UConn beat Notre Dame 79-58 for its ninth NCAA title
  • Click the image to see more of UConn celebrating winning the women's basketball national title. (AP Photo)

    In a battle of unbeatens, Geno Auriemma and the Huskies proved once again that Connecticut is the class of women’s college basketball in a dominating 79-58 win over Notre Dame in Nashville.

    Led by 6-foot-4 sophomore Breanna Stewart and 6-5 senior Stefanie Dolson, four different players scored in double figures for the Huskies to give Auriemma his record ninth national championship, passing legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt. The 60-year-old Auriemma, in his 29th season at UConn, is a perfect 9-0 in national championship games.

    Stewart, the tournament’s most outstanding player, led the Huskies with 21 points on an impressive 10-of-15 shooting while also pulling down nine rebounds. Dolson had a fantastic all-around game with 17 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks. Junior forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 18 points and seven boards, while senior guard Bria Hartley contributed 13 points.

    [Photos: UConn beats Notre Dame for women's basketball national title | Buy

    Read More »from UConn beats Notre Dame to cap off undefeated season with women's national title

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