KUSA - Jason Collins wears No. 98 in a tribute to Matthew Shepard and following the Nets game Thursday night at the Pepsi Center he gave their family his jersey.

"It was very sweet," Judy Shepard said. "It was very genuine and very thoughtful."

Matthew was a victim of a hate crime in Wyoming in 1998 - he would die days after the incident from the severe injuries he sustained. He was targeted because he was gay.

Collins is the first openly gay player in the NBA and it was the first time that the Shepard family has ever met Collins in person. They did so privately after the game for several minutes.

"He's very kind, smart and humble. It was delightful. We were happy to finally get the opportunity to meet him," Judy continued.

After the game, Collins gave the family a signed jersey and said meeting Judy and Dennis Shepard was "one of those cool treats in life."

"I was in college at the time when he was killed and of course it's a tragedy what happened and I just hope that it inspires others to move forward," Collins said.

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