NBL: Melbourne United star Issac Humphries comes out as gay to teammates in heartfelt speech

Melbourne United star Issac Humphries has publicly come out as the only openly gay male professional basketballer playing in a top-tier league.

Humphries made the revelation to his teammates - including Tall Blacks guard Shea Ili - in a moving speech that has since gone viral on social media.

The 24-year-old said he'd been through some 'extremely dark times' in coming to terms with his sexuality and had even contemplated suicide.

'It is a truth about myself that I have wanted to deny for a long time, but now I feel comfortable in telling you all," Humphries said. "That truth, is that I am gay.

"I have been through extremely dark times during this journey, but I have been through so much growth and I am now happy with who I am.

"I figured out a lot about myself during this most recent off-season, and I have thought about this a lot."

Humphries is the second male basketball player to come out as gay while playing in one of the world's premier leagues, after NBA veteran Jason Collins back in 2013.

He hoped coming forth would help empower other professional athletes who may be facing similar struggles.

"I believe it is definitely time to make a change and set an example to the next generation that they can be anything they want while still being true to themselves," Humphries said.

"I want to demonstrate that you can be a professional athlete, you can be anything you want, and still be gay."

He follows in the footsteps of compatriot and Adelaide United player Josh Cavallo, who last year became the world's first openly gay top-flight footballer.

Melbourne United chief executive Nick Truelson and head Dean Vickerman said the franchise is proud of Humphries.

"Today is an incredible step in Isaac's journey, and we as a club are wholeheartedly supportive of him," Truelson said "Not only as a member of our club, but as a person.

"This is a momentous occasion for him personally, but also for male sport on a global scale."