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NAIA basketball player Jallen Messersmith comes out as openly gay

Jallen MessersmithJallen Messersmith, an NAIA basketball player at Benedictine College, is the latest athlete to come out as openly gay.

Messersmith completed his sophomore season at Benedictine, a liberal arts Catholic school in Atchison, Kansas. Last year he came out to his family and basketball team, and he says he has received strong support from both. This week, he came out publicly in a story for OutSports.com, the leading media outlet covering gays in sports.

Messersmith is listed as a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward. He led the Ravens with 53 blocks despite playing just 14.5 minutes per game. He averaged 4.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game last season as a sophomore.

Messersmith told OutSports he is more than welcomed by his teammates, which is comforting considering the way he was picked on as a kid. He says he was home schooled for two years because of how much he was bullied as a youth. Messersmith grew up Mormon but left the church because it denounces homosexuality. He told OutSports that he talks about his dating life with his teammates and that he has had boyfriends attend his games.

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