Jason Collins

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Jason Collins is very close to making his return to the basketball court.

Sources with knowledge of the situation tell ESPN that the Brooklyn Nets will sign the free-agent center on Sunday.

When Collins officially joins the NBA team, he will make history as the first active openly gay player in American professional sports.

The veteran athlete is expected to play for the Nets against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Sunday evening, sources added. Collins was already in Los Angeles for his workouts and he will meet with the team before he is expected to sign the 10-day deal.

The 35-year-old, who came out last April in Sports Illustrated, has not played since last year after finishing the regular season with the Washington Wizards.

Collins has been a part of six different teams over a 12-year professional career, but spent the majority of his time with the Nets when they played in New Jersey.

Collins openly discussed his sexuality in an essay he penned for SI and revealed why he waited before opening up to the public.

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black and I'm gay," Collins began. "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."

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