Former NBA player Jason Collins told Democratic National Convention (DNC) delegates gathered in Philadelphia that he came out to the Clintons before he went public.

Collins came out gay in a 2013 Sports Illustrated cover story. The following summer, he appeared at numerous Gay Pride festivals and events.

Collins spoke at the DNC on Tuesday, along with his twin brother Jarron Collins, also a former NBA player.

“My dream was to play in the NBA and to live my authentic life as a proud gay man at the same time. I was able to accomplish both of those goals because of the people who have supported me throughout my life. Before I came out to the world on the cover of Sports Illustrated, I came out privately to the Clinton family. I’ve known their family for almost 20 years,” said Collins, who met Chelsea Clinton while attending Stanford University.

“I knew that they would accept me for who I was and that they would help pave a path for others to do the same. I am forever grateful for their words of wisdom back then and for their unconditional support. They knew that my sexual orientation made no difference in my ability to play basketball. Just as someone’s gender makes no difference in his or her ability to lead our nation,” he added.