Okay, there is a perception that gay and bisexual men are not good athletes. It seems our wrists are too limp to bounce the ball, some say.
Well, Kevin Tyrone Swinton (pictured right) is trying to crush that myth. Kevin, who lives in suburban Maryland, organized the Maryland Mavericks, a gay and gay-friendly basketball team. Kevin is aiming high — he wants to create a gay basketball league in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and eventually a NBA for gays to bring out thousands of spectators to see gay teams in action.
“I dream big and I think big,” says Kevin, 33, who played basketball in high school and tried out for his college team but didn’t make it.
There is already the National Gay Basketball Association (http://www.ngbaus.com/). But Kevin says that league’s games are not targeted at large audiences and are designed more for the families and friends of the team to watch. He wants to go much bigger, booking gay and gay-friendly teams into large venues.
Why does Kevin want gay basketball to go big time? To let the straight world know gay men can be outstanding athletes and that how men get down sexually is just a small part of their personas, he says. Kevin has nine members on his team, including one straight member, and they come from all walks of life.
“Just because we are on a team together doesn’t mean we are going to bed with each other,” he says.
The Maryland Mavericks are holding an exhibition at Gallaudet University Model Secondary School for the Deaf/Kendall Elementary School at 800 Florida Ave., N.E., in Washington, D.C. on August 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $5.
Kevin will use the event to spread his message. The Maryland Mavericks will also use the proceeds to attend the National Gay Basketball Association’s Boston Tea Party Classic V in Boston on Oct 17-18.
Gay basketball players are getting more attention. The gay Logo channel recently aired “Shirts and Skins,” (http://www.logoonline.com/shows/dyn/shirts_and_skins/series.jhtml) a reality series about the trials and tribulations of a gay basketball team. That team, the San Francisco Rockdogs, has become the dominant gay basketball team in the nation, stomping opponents left and right.
But Kevin says the Maryland Mavericks can take the Rockdogs down. “I have been playing since the 6th grade,” he says. “At this point I know exactly what it takes to beat the Rockdogs.”