Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins became the first openly gay NBA player to take the court  this month after coming out last April , and on Thursday, the athlete met with the late Matthew Shepard's parents and brother. After Brooklyn beat the Denver Nuggets, he met privately with the family and gave them an autographed jersey — number 98 in honor of Matthew, the gay college student who was murdered in a 1998 hate crime. Ahead of the game, Collins said , "I am very honored," speaking to the comments of Matthew's dad, Dennis Shepard, who said Matthew would have loved Collins. Afterward, Jason tweeted a photo with the family, saying, "I'm so fortunate to have met Matthew Shepard's parents and brother tonight."
I'm so fortunate to have met Matthew Shepard's parents and brother tonight after @BrooklynNets  win tonight in Denver pic.twitter.com/PL6k4TvDsW 
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) February 28, 2014