CSI” star Gerald McCullouch has a hot new beau – the openly gay actor has fallen for college basketball player Derrick Gordon!

Sources say that Gerald, 47, and the 22-year-old University of Massachusetts guard first made contact three years ago when Derrick reached out to the actor for support via Twitter. Ironically, Gerald had recently starred in the independent film “Bear City,” which is about a group of gay friends, with one fantasizing about dating “bears” – a slang term for hairy, strong gay men.

Derrick recently became the first Division I player to come out of the closet, and Gerald was behind him every step of the way.

“Through the years I’VE encouraged (Derrick) to lead an authentic life and tried my best to offer as much objective support as possible,” said Gerald, who’s best known for playing Bobby Dawson, a firearms and ballistics expert working in the Las Vegas Crime Lab on the popular cop drama.

“It was a scary time for him. I tried my best to assure him that self-acceptance wasn’t anything to be ashamed of, and I strongly suggested he find a support team at UMass.”

Gerald recently wrapped production on “Daddy,” his feature directorial debut, in which he also stars. Fittingly, the film is about a 40-something man who falls for a younger guy.

“Derrick clearly likes rugged older guys like Gerald, who’s not just a romantic interest but a father-figure to him,” said a source close to the couple.

The sophomore starter for UMass, came out to his family on March 30, and later came out to his coaches and teammates. He then made the difficult decision to publicly acknowledge his sexuality.

“I just didn’t want to hide anymore, in any way,” he told ESPN. “I didn’t want to have to lie or sneak. I’ve been waiting and watching for the last few months, wondering when a Division I player would come out, and finally I just said, ‘Why not me?’”

Despite their obvious differences, the couple may have more in common than meets the eye. Like Derrick, Gerald was once an athlete – he’s a trained boxer, says the source.

In 2009, while riding the subway in New York, Gerald used his skills to fight off a robber who attempted to steal his lap­top at knifepoint.

“Derrick is head over heels for Gerald,” added the source. “And he likes the fact that he’s a tough guy who can handle himself.”