Jayson Tatum is one of the most talented and versatile players in the NBA today. He plays for the Boston Celtics, where he has been an All-Star for four consecutive seasons and an All-NBA selection for three. He is also a gold medalist with the U.S. Olympic team and a record-holder for several impressive feats. But who is Jayson Tatum, and how did he become the superstar he is now? In this article, we will explore his life, career, achievements, and trivia.
Early Life and Family
Jayson Tatum was born on March 3, 1998, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Brandy Cole and Justin Tatum. His mother had just graduated from high school when she found out she was pregnant, and by that point she and Justin Tatum had already broken up. Jayson Tatum’s first foray into basketball was playing in the bathtub with a suction cup hoop. He was encouraged to take up the sport by his father, who played basketball in college and later in Europe. Justin Tatum’s best friend, NBA player Larry Hughes, is Jayson Tatum’s godfather. When he was eight, Tatum was introduced to NBA superstar LeBron James by Hughes, a teammate of James.
Tatum has a younger brother named Jaycob, who also plays basketball. He has a son named Deuce Tatum, who frequently appears on his Instagram and at his games. He has had an on-off relationship with singer Ella Mai, whom he met through social media.
High School and College
Tatum attended Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis, where he played small forward and quickly became one of the country’s most-touted high school basketball players. During his senior year (2015–16), Tatum averaged 29.5 points and 9.1 rebounds, and in the Missouri Class 5A state championship game he scored 40 points as Chaminade won the title. In 2015 Tatum was a member of the U.S. team that won the men’s basketball under-19 world championship. The following year Tatum was named the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year and a McDonald’s All-American. He graduated from Chaminade as the school’s all-time scorer (2,676) and rebounder (1,028).
Tatum was heavily recruited by colleges, and he chose Duke University, where he played under legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski. He missed the first eight games of his freshman season due to a foot injury, but he soon became a key contributor for the Blue Devils. He averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game, while earning Third-team All-ACC and ACC All-Freshman team honors. He led Duke to the ACC tournament title, where he was named the MVP. However, he could not replicate his success in the NCAA tournament, where Duke lost in the second round to South Carolina. Tatum decided to enter the 2017 NBA draft after his freshman year.
Tatum was selected by the Boston Celtics with the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, after the Celtics traded down from the first pick. He made his NBA debut on October 17, 2017, scoring 14 points in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He quickly established himself as a starter and a reliable scorer for the Celtics, averaging 13.9 points and 5 rebounds per game in his rookie season. He was voted to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting. He also shone in the playoffs, where he averaged 18.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, helping the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals. He became the first rookie since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to score 20 or more points in 10 straight playoff games, and the youngest player ever to score 25 or more points in a Game 7.
Tatum continued to improve his game in his second season, averaging 15.7 points and 6 rebounds per game. He was selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge and the Skills Challenge during the All-Star weekend. He also helped the Celtics reach the second round of the playoffs, where they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Tatum had his breakout season in his third year, averaging 23.4 points and 7 rebounds per game. He was named an All-Star for the first time and earned All-NBA Third Team honors. He also led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in four years, where they lost to the Miami Heat. He had several memorable performances in the playoffs, including a 50-point game against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, and a 40-point game against the Heat in the conference finals.
Tatum reached new heights in his fourth season, averaging 26.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He was named an All-Star for the second time and earned All-NBA First Team honors. He also won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo, where he averaged 15.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He set several records in the 2020-21 season, such as becoming the youngest player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in a regular-season game and a playoff game in the same season, and becoming the first player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in a play-in game. He also tied Larry Bird’s franchise record for most points in a game with 60, and broke Kevin McHale’s franchise record for most points in a Game 7 with 51.
Achievements and Awards
Tatum has won many accolades and awards in his basketball career, both individually and with his teams. Here are some of his most notable achievements:
- 4× NBA All-Star (2020–2023)
- NBA All-Star Game MVP (2023)
- 2× All-NBA First Team (2022, 2023)
- All-NBA Third Team (2020)
- NBA All-Rookie First Team (2018)
- Olympic gold medalist (2020)
- FIBA U19 World Championship gold medalist (2015)
- FIBA U17 World Championship gold medalist (2014)
- ACC tournament MVP (2017)
- Gatorade National Player of the Year (2016)
- McDonald’s All-American (2016)
Here are some fun and interesting facts about Jayson Tatum:
- His full name is Jayson Christopher Tatum.
- He is 25 years old, born on March 3, 1998.
- He is 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 meters) tall and weighs 210 pounds (95 kilograms).
- He wears number 0 for the Celtics, which he chose because it represents the number of people who can guard him.
- He is a Christian and has a tattoo of a cross on his chest.
- He has a younger brother named Jaycob, who also plays basketball.
- He has a son named Deuce Tatum, who was born on December 6, 2017.
- He has had an on-off relationship with singer Ella Mai, whom he met through social media.
- He graduated from high school with a 3.9 GPA and was a member of the National Honor Society.
- He majored in psychology at Duke University, where he had a 3.6 GPA.
- His favorite food is tacos, and he is nicknamed “Taco Jay” by his fans and teammates.
- His net worth is estimated to be around $25 million, and he signed a five-year, $195 million contract extension with the Celtics in 2020.
- He is a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams.
- He is a close friend of fellow NBA star Bradley Beal, who also grew up in St. Louis and played for Chaminade.
- He is a fan of the TV show Game of Thrones, and his favorite character is Jon Snow.
- He has a pet dog named Nino, who is a French bulldog.
|Favorite TV Show
|Game of Thrones
|Nino (French bulldog)