I know what it's like to lose your childhood to war. When I was five and conflict raged in Sudan, my family and I were amongst the lucky ones to leave for Egypt. Four years later we were granted asylum in the United Kingdom. Inspired by legendary South Sudanese basketball player Manute Bol, my siblings and I took up basketball which helped us fit in. Like Manute, I was lucky enough to turn the sport I loved into a career as a professional NBA player in the United States.
Obviously it would have taken time to really create success at the top level and this is not to say that GB Basketball would have become the new British Cycling but UK Sport, by narrowing their focus on short-term success, seemed to have missed the lessons that recent history and success could have taught them.
As well as playing basketball with the children, Gasol chatted with Tolin and her sister. Tolin told him how she fled Syria with her family seven months ago to escape the violence and bombing. She also told him she still wants to be a doctor when she grows up, even though she hasn't been to school since she left Syria...
The ultimate encouragement for a player to come out, would probably be that there were sufficient other gay peers for it not to be such an issue, or at least enough to be able to offer support. As it stands, that day seems a long way off. If the Premier League is to wait for its own Jason Collins, it may be waiting a very long time.