Jallen Messersmith, a junior at Benedictine College, on Wednesday publicly announced he's gay, making him the U.S.'s first openly gay men's college basketball player.

In comments to gay sports site Outsports, Messersmith, 20, said his experience was positive.

“When I started coming out, I didn't have anyone to look to for advice or to see how their story went,” said Messersmith. “People can look to see what happened to me – and there are positive things going on.”

He said he disclosed that the was gay to his coach last summer and to his teammates just before the start of the season.

Messersmith, who suffered bullying at an early age, added that he hopes to set an example for other young gay people.

“You've just got to be comfortable with yourself,” Messersmith said. “I wasn't very comfortable with myself for a long time and then when I was, if you put off the confidence and you are 100% comfortable when you tell someone, they will support you. They can't, as much as they can try, drag you down. It's all about you. It's what you think. If you are comfortable with yourself, you can do anything.”

“I'm definitely happy and content where I am right now. It's awesome that I have the team support I do. It's awesome that no one has said anything [negative] and I haven't had anything change. I just feel really comfortable and it's really nice,” he said.

Benedictine College, a small liberal arts Catholic school in Kansas, said in a statement that it supported Messersmith but added that it would be “inappropriate for us to discuss the private lives of students.”