Isaac Humphries, an Australian basketball player for the National Basketball League’s Melbourne United, decided to take a risk and openly come out as gay. After one game, this 24-year-old big forward from Sydney gathered his teammates and the rest of the team personnel in the locker room to address them.
“You can be homosexual and play basketball at the highest level.” You are free to do anything you desire. It has nothing to do with your sexuality or with what others expect of you. I want to be myself. I’ve found my life’s mission and will do all in my power to achieve it. “I kept my sexual orientation a secret from everyone, even myself,” said Humphries, who is 211 centimetres tall.
— Isaac Humphries (@IsaacHumphries7) November 15, 2022
The director of the team had nothing but appreciation for his revelation, praising him for his bravery, thanking him for sharing his story, and recognising him as the first out homosexual man to play in the Australian NBL competition.
Humphries was born in the Sydney neighborhood of Caringbah, but he grew up in the nearby town of Cronulla. He began playing basketball when he was 12 years old. He was also a player in rugby league, the variant of the game that has teams of 13 players and is very popular in Australia.
Humphries went to school at Scots College in Sydney and played for the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra before he moved to the United States in 2014 to play basketball at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana. Sydney is where you’ll find Scots College, and Canberra is where you’ll find the Australian Institute of Sport.
He wanted to combine his experiences as a student and an athlete, so he enrolled in the University of Kentucky. In his first year there, he participated in 23 different games. Humphries had 38 appearances with the Wildcats, including one start, and averaged 2.8 points per game in his second season with the team.
During an unsuccessful attempt to get drafted by the NBA following his second year of college, he continued his basketball career in the NBL, which is the Serbian Basketball League. Finally, on April 1, 2019, Humphries signed with Atlanta for the rest of the 2018–19 NBA season. This came as a result of his strong play with Atlanta’s NBA G-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks.
After a brief stint with the Hawks, he went on to sign a summer league deal with the Orlando Magic; however, he was never given an opportunity to play professionally in the NBA after that.
To Australia, with love
In 2020, Humphries made his comeback to the NBL official by signing a contract with the Adelaide 36ers for a period of two years. Humphries was only able to participate in six games during the second year of his contract due to a significant knee injury. As a result, Melbourne United extended an offer to Humphries to switch to their team for the 2022–2023 NBL season.
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