NBA star Jason Collins says coming out gay has changed his life for the better.

Collins, 34, is the NBA free agent who came out gay in April in a cover story for Sports Illustrated, making him the U.S.'s first openly gay professional athlete.

In remarks to Chicago gay weekly Windy City Times, Collins said that coming out “has changed my life for the better in so many ways.”

“Coming out has made me much happier; I don't have that stress anymore. As I often tell people, you don't know how good you are going to feel once you get rid of that stress,” he said.

Collins credited his smooth coming out to Arnn Tellem, his agent.

“I wouldn't have been able to do this without him,” he said.

“I still remember, toward the end of last season, debating how I was going to do it. What am I going to do? At the end of the day, everyone has to do what is best for them, what will make them happiest.”

Though he remains a free agent, Collins said that he was looking forward to next season: “The most important thing for me now is being in shape and ready to play basketball.”