Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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WNBA superstar
Sheryl Swoopes comes out

WNBA superstar
            Sheryl Swoopes comes out

Houston Comets
forward Sheryl Swoopes has come out in magazine stories
being published by The Advocate and ESPN The
The three-time most valuable player for
the Women's National Basketball Association, including for
the 2005 season, tells The Advocate, "I don't
want to say I've been living a lie, but for the past seven,
eight years I haven't been able to be comfortable in
my own skin, around my own friends and family."

Advocate cover story with Swoopes will appear
in the November 22 issue, on sale November 8. The ESPN
magazine article hit newsstands Wednesday. In the ESPN
story, AP reports, Swoopes says she has come out
because “I'm tired of having to hide my feelings
about the person I care about. About the person I

That person, she
tells The Advocate, is Alisa "Scotty" Scott, a
former basketball player herself and a former
assistant coach on the Comets. Together the couple are
raising Swoopes's 8-year-old son, Jordan. Swoopes was
married to Jordan's father, football player Eric
Jackson, until 1999.

"I'm nervous. I'm
anxious. I'm excited. I'm relieved," Swoopes tells
Advocate executive editor Anne Stockwell in the
magazine's gay-press exclusive interview. But, she adds,
"I'm not scared anymore."

Asked whether she
considers herself lesbian or bisexual, Swoopes says,
"I just consider myself a person." She adds, "I don't
consider myself bisexual," and says, "The relationship I'm
in right now, I hope, is the relationship I'll be in
for the rest of my life."

Swoopes, 34, is a
five-time WNBA All-Star and three-time Olympic gold
medalist and has been named the league's MVP more times than
any other player. She has played for the Comets since
1997, missing the 2001 season because of an injury.
Her team won four consecutive league championships
with Swoopes, 1997–2000.

Swoopes tells
The Advocate that she hopes her coming-out
"is gonna make a difference to a lot of people out there
who want to come out and don't know how to do it or are

She says she does
not expect to lose her lucrative endorsement deals with
Nike and other companies. Indeed, one of the reasons Swoopes
has come out is that she has signed an endorsement
deal with Olivia Cruises and Resorts, the nation's
most prominent lesbian-centered business. Out athletes
Martina Navratilova and Rosie Jones are already Olivia

Swoopes is the
undisputed superstar of the WNBA. As AP reported,
"Swoopes led the WNBA in scoring last year, averaging 18.6
points. She also averaged 4.3 assists and 2.65 steals
while making 85% of her free throws and playing a
league-high 37.1 minutes a game."

In her
Advocate interview, Swoopes talks about how she
met and fell in love with Scott, coming out to her strict
Baptist mother, and how her son urged her not to quit
the game after her 2001 injury. (Advocate.com)

Tags: World, World

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