Nets reserve center Jason Collins was thrilled to see Michael Sam make history Saturday night and become the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL.

Collins made history himself when he announced he was gay at the end of last season. He was watching on television in the players' lounge at Barclays Center before the tipoff of the Heat-Nets playoff game when the Rams made Sam the 249th overall choice in the 2014 draft.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"I think it's great,'' Collins said.

"I'm looking forward to seeing him progress throughout his career . . . I think it's a great day for the NFL and Michael and his family.''

Collins said he had been in contact with Sam via text, congratulating him. Collins also indicated it was an important day for the gay community.

"It takes more and more people just to come forward and show we're normal people and we're just trying to make plays and help our respective teams win,'' he said.