that historic personal announcement, jason collins, now the first openly gay team athlete playing in pro sport. The president said he spoke to him, telling him he couldn't be prouder, and abc's george... See More
that historic personal announcement, jason collins, now the first openly gay team athlete playing in pro sport. The president said he spoke to him, telling him he couldn't be prouder, and abc's george stephanopoulos spoke to jason collins at an abc news exclusive. Reporter: Can you believe it hasn't happened before you? That's kind of mind-boggling. I never set out to be the first. And it is you know, obviously, you know, you're sort of waiting around for somebody else to, you know, raise your -- raise their hand, and, you know, I'm ready to raise my hand, but, you know, you still look around like, "okay, come on guys." Reporter: You always knew you were gay? Yeah. I sort of describe it as, you know that the sky is blue, but you keep telling yourself that it's red. Reporter: So you fought it? Yes. In the beginning. I think they call it, like, the 12 steps. You know, you go through anger, denial, and all you know, it's just -- but when you finally get to the point of acceptance, there's nothing more beautiful. And just allowing yourself to, you know, really be happy and be comfortable in your own skin. Reporter: What do you say to the 12-year-old boy who's out there practicing right now, wants to be a pro ballplayer, and happens to be gay? Keep working hard. It shouldn't matter. And it doesn't matter what your -- that you know that you're gay. But, the key thing is that it's about basketball. It's about working hard. As you may have heard, collins wore the number 98 on his jersey on honor matthew shepherd who was beaten and killed in 1998 because he was gay. And today we heard from matthew's mother who said she's touched that jason would honor her son that way.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.