3×3 basketball player from Switzerland comes out as gay

ZURICH (AP) — A player on Switzerland’s 3×3 basketball team publicly came out as gay on Friday.

Marco Lehmann announced his sexuality one month after playing at the 3×3 World Tour finals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

“This is for the future generations so they can live a free sporting life without hiding,” the 27-year-old Lehmann said in an article published on the international basketball federation’s website.

Lehmann said he started having panic attacks in December 2019 despite success on the court as a professional. He had a top-15 world ranking in the street format of the game, which will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo this year. Switzerland, however, did not qualify for the delayed Tokyo Games.

“I was definitely living the dream. And yet I wasn’t happy,” said Lehmann, recalling anti-gay comments made by teammates and coaches.

“This is why a lot of young guys quit playing team sports when they discover they’re gay,” he wrote. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m trying to win a World Tour and bring Switzerland to the 2024 Olympics.”

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