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John Amaechi, first NBA player to come out as a gay man, will speak about his life and new book. Monday, October 8, 2007

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — With his February 2007 announcement, Jon Amaechi became the only player in National Basketball Association history to come out as a gay man. Amaechi will speak about his life experiences and new autobiography, Man In The Middle, on Monday, October 8, at 7:00 pm in the Villard Room of the College Center. This event is free and open to the public.

From 1995-2003 Amaechi was a power forward and center in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz, after competing in college at Penn State. Remarkably, Amaechi didn't begin playing basketball until he was 17. His book Man In The Middle explores Amaechi's struggles throughout his life, including his journey to find himself within the ultra-masculine world of professional basketball. The book discusses his childhood experiences, family problems, physical injuries, abusive coaches, racial issues that he has faced, as well as his emerging sexuality.

Amaechi's story has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN's Headline News, ESPN's Outside the Lines, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Paula Zahn Now, and Your World with Neil Cavuto on FOX News. Among his current positions, he serves as an official spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's Coming Out Project, which helps gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people live more openly with their sexuality. He is also a regular contributor for BBC, ITV, and SKY in the United Kingdom, and an ambassador for London's 2012 Summer Olympics bid.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Athletics and Physical Education, the Department of Dance, Blegen House, the Office of the President, and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, September 21, 2007