John Amaechi was born in Boston, USA, and raised in Heaton Moor, Stockport. He returend to the USA to play high school basketball.
After retiring from professional basketball, he competed for England in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
In February 2007, Amaechi came out as gay on the Amererican TV programme Outside the Lines. He also released a book, Man in the Middle, published by ESPN Books (ISBN 1933060190), which discusses his career and life as a closeted professional athlete. Amaechi is the first NBA player to speak publicly about being gay.
The Pink List 2012 citation said:
- "As a rare Brit in the NBA, Amaechi already turned heads. After coming out in 2007, he became one of only a handful of publicly gay sportsmen in America and is now a best-selling author, Amnesty International ambassador, TV sports pundit and motivational speaker."
- http://outsports.com/nba/20062007/0207amaechi.htm Cyd Zeigler Jr and Jim Buzinski "John Amaechi to come out publicly" Outsports.com 7 February 2007
- http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/us_sport/article1347000.ece Ian Whittell "I'm gay, says British basketball star: John Amaechi is first male basketball player to come out in US" The Times 7 February 2007