News Article


23 Jan
6 mins read

Written By

Dale Fletcher

Adelaide 36ers centre Isaac Humphries opens up about his decision to come out as an openly gay athlete and the impact and opportunities its created

As the Adelaide 36ers prepare to host their first NBL Pride Round game this Saturday against Cairns Taipans, Isaac Humphries sat down to chat about how his life has changed since making the decision to tell the world he was gay.


Wednesday, November 16, 2022, will be a day Isaac Humphries will never, ever forget.

Humphries sat in the changeroom and told his teammates he was gay, and life for the star big man has been “pretty full on” since.

As the NBL celebrates its second year of Pride Round, Humphries said the importance, conversations and impact created means so much for the community.

“It hasn’t felt like sport was a place for us, particularly male sport,” Humphries said.

“My presence in basketball now globally, is helping that stigma, that stereotype that you can’t be gay and play a sport.

“From a players’ point of view, having a Pride Round and knowing that the league is supporting me and my community and allowing them to come and be celebrated at a game and understand everyone is welcome in basketball and that it is a space for everybody.”

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Humphries was the second professional basketball player to come out as gay while playing in a top-tier league after former NBA centre Jason Collins did so in 2013.

“I’m a very proud gay man and my situation was very public, it was very well received, very well accepted from a lot of people,’ Humphries said.

“The way I get to be proud and give back to the community who lifted me up when I was down, lifted me up when I made my announcement, is very important to me.

“Pride means, not just being proud of myself for figuring a lot of stuff out, about myself and my sexuality, but to represent a community that has lifted me up over the past year.

“Proud to be part of a community that is about happiness and joy and acceptance and positive things for once.”

Humphries is aware of the potential Pride Round will bring and hopes society can embrace the inclusiveness just as much as other special rounds throughout the season.

Openly gay athletes are still rare in male-dominated sports leagues across the globe.

In 2021, Carl Nassib became the first openly gay player in the NFL; the same year, Luke Prokop also said he was gay, becoming the first NHL player to do so.

Humphries joins Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo as the only active openly gay male athletes across Australia’s major sporting leagues.

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Humphries said his life has been “pretty full on” since he made the decision to go public during the NBL23 season.

“It almost feels like these gates opened up and so many opportunities came from a three-minute video,” Humphries said.

“In reality, that three-minute video was years of planning and figuring out what to do and understanding myself and making decisions.

“But after that video was aired, and my story sort of took its shape, my life quite literally has never been the same.

“Not just because I can live as an openly gay man or be who I am in my environment and people accept me for that.

“I can be myself in my life, which is great.”

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Humphries, who played two years of college basketball at Kentucky and has also had stints in the NBA, NBA G-League, and Europe across his professional career, said the opportunities to share his story to inspire others has been very rewarding.

“I’ve been able to advocate for mental health, suicide awareness, suicide prevention, things that are very important to me,” Humphries said.

“There’s a lot of glitz and glamour involved, there’s no denying that, but that’s just the fun part of the real serious stuff that I’m trying to do.”

The 211cm centre said a big part on why he takes on a lot of work is because he believes the more visible, he is, the more accessible he is to people and the more people can see him doing things and being an example for others is his way of being able to make sure what he is doing is working.

“If I had just made my announcement and got this big acceptance from this whole global community and then stayed quiet and laid low like I was doing I wouldn’t feel like it was for anything,” Humphries said.

“Visibility is very important and just making sure I’m in front of people as much as I can be.”


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