YONKERS — When Saunders High School basketball coach Anthony Nicodemo told his players and their parents Monday that he is gay, he expected the announcement to get some local media attention.
But the stunning revelation from the 35-year-old Yonkers teacher and coach has gone viral on Twitter, Facebook and other social media continuing with Nicodemo's early Wednesday morning appearance on Fox-5 television's "Good Day New York".
Nicodemo told "Good Day New York" hosts Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly that he decided to come out after attending Nike's "Be True" summit in Oregon. Openly gay current and former athletes Jason Collins (National Basketball Association), Wade Davis (National Football League) and Billy Bean (Major League Baseball) spoke at the event.
"It was life changing," Nicodemo said of the Nike event. "I was around people who were more like me, guys were gay and in the athletic community. They inspired me to make this move. I came home with the mindset of 'you know what it's time."
Nicodemo is a social studies teacher at the Greenburgh-North Castle school district’s Reach Academy where he informed administration there last week that he was gay. He is director of the Lower Hudson Basketball Association and Section 1 (Westchester area schools) representative to the Basketball Coaches Association of New York.
"The support has been absolutely unbelievable," Nicodemo said. "The parents at the meeting, peers and even opposing players, who I don't usually speak to, have called to say 'this is awesome', so the support has been great."