Jallen Messersmith, a 2011 Blue Springs High School graduate and Benedictine College sophomore, made national headlines Tuesday evening by becoming what’s believed to be the first active men’s college basketball player to declare that he’s gay.

Jallen Messersmith, a 2011 Blue Springs High School graduate and Benedictine College sophomore, made national headlines Tuesday evening by becoming what’s believed to be the first active men’s college basketball player to declare that he’s gay.

Messersmith, 20, was profiled by Outsports.com, a website which covers gay sports issues, on Tuesday.

Messersmith (6-foot-8, 215 pounds) helped Benedictine, a liberal arts Catholic school in Atchison, Kan., to an 18-12 record last season while posting averages of 4.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and was fourth in the NAIA with 1.9 blocks per game.

Messersmith told the website that he informed his parents, Timothy and Chantelle Messersmith, that he was gay at the end of the spring semester last year and told his coach and two assistant coaches at the start of the fall semester.

“They were there 100 percent for me,” Messersmith told Outsports. “They said it would not make any difference in the way the team was run. And they wanted to make sure it wouldn’t change my experience at the school. That was awesome. After that, I felt like I could do anything.”

Messersmith never formally told his teammates, but let word trickle through the program.

“Everybody was cool with it and nobody said anything bad about it,” teammate Brett Fisher told Outsports.com. “They know what’s up and he is treated similar to the way we treat every other teammate.”

Messersmith contacted Outsports before NBA player Jason Collins declared that he is gay last month.

At Blue Springs, Messersmith set the single-season blocks record and was voted MVP, Mr. Hustle, Mr. Defense and Mr. Basketball for the 2010-11 season.