Derrick Gordon, who last year became the first openly gay athlete to play in Division I men's basketball, says coming out helped him focus on his game.

In coming out, Gordon told ESPN that his “lie” had isolated him from his teammates.

“For my whole life, I've been living my life as a lie,” he said, adding that he came out so that “athletes never feel like they have to hide. You can be true to yourself and play the sport that you love.”

Fast forward to today and Gordon says coming out has changed his life for the better.

“All last season, that was something I was always thinking about,” Gordon told the AP. “It was always in the back of my mind. This year, everybody knows. So everywhere we went I didn't have to worry about it. It was like what you see is what you get. I am who I am.”

“It just made me forget about that and just concentrate on my game.”

“Anywhere we went, everything was positive,” Gordon added. “I didn't hear anything negative. No one came up to me.”

In April, Gordon will be an ambassador at the Miami Gay Pride Parade.