Jason Collins retires from NBA

(SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in the NBA, announced his retirement from the league on Wednesday.

Collins made the announcement through a self-penned article on SI.com that will appear in the Nov. 24 issue of the magazine. According to the article, he plans to make the announcement official on Wednesday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn prior to the Nets game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

"It has been 18 exhilarating months since I came out in Sports Illustrated as the first openly gay man in one of the four major professional team sports," Collins wrote. "And it has been nine months since I signed with the Nets and became the first openly gay male athlete to appear in a game in one of those leagues. It feels wonderful to have been part of these milestones for sports and for gay rights, and to have been embraced by the public, the coaches, the players, the league and history."

Collins became the first openly gay active player in one of North America's four major team sports when he took the floor for a Feb. 23 game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Among the memories I will cherish most are the warm applause I received in Los Angeles when I took the court in my Nets debut, and the standing ovation I got at my first home game in Brooklyn," Collins added. "It shows how far we've come."

Collins revealed his sexuality in April, 2013 in an article he co-wrote for Sports Illustrated.

In 13 NBA seasons, Collins averaged 3.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 735 games with the Nets, Hawks, Celtics, Grizzlies, Timberwolves and Wizards. The Stanford product was a member of two NBA Finals teams.