Obama Invites Gay Ex-NBA Player Jason Collins to State of the Union Address

"I couldn’t be prouder of him."

On Tuesday, President Obama is slated to give the State of the Union address. Among his guests, who include Boston marathon bombing victims and the fire chief from Moore, Oklahoma, will be Jason Collins, the former NBA center who came out as gay earlier this year. Collins will sit in the President's box with First Lady Michelle Obama.

President Obama congratulated Collins on coming out at the time, explaining, “I couldn’t be prouder of him…One of the extraordinary measures of progress that we’ve seen in this country has been the recognition that the LGBT community deserves full equality.” He said he was “impressed by his courage” in coming out as gay.

Collins, who earned millions of dollars in the NBA before being cut by the Washington Wizards in 2012-2013, still is jobless after playing for three teams in 2012-2013. With the Wizards, he averaged 1.3 total rebounds, 0.7 points, and 0.7 blocks over 6 games. He is currently dating The Help producer Brunson Green. Collins’ ex-fiancee, Carolyn Moos, was jilted by Collins publicly when he came out. She said she was “deeply hurt by him. I wish he could have been honest with me years ago.”