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Jason Collins set to meet Shepard’s parents


DENVER (AP) — Brooklyn Nets 7-footer Jason Collins acknowledged that Thursday night’s game at Denver wasn’t just about basketball.

The first openly gay athlete in America’s four major sports was set to meet with the family of slain Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard following the Nets’ game against the Nuggets.

Shepard was tortured and murdered in 1998 because he was gay. Collins wears his No. 98 jersey in Shepard’s honor.

Collins, who signed a 10-day contract with the Nets on Sunday, said the chance to meet Shepard’s parents was “one of those cool treats in life.”

Collins wore the No. 98 with both the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards for Shepard even before coming out last spring. The jersey has been a big seller on NBAStore.com.