Born: March 3, 1998
Birthplace: St. Louis, MO
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Career and Life
Jayson Christopher Tatum is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Tatum attended hometown Chaminade College Preparatory School, where he was rated a five-star recruit and regarded as one of the top players in the Class of 2016 by recruiting services. After one season with Duke, he entered the 2017 NBA draft, and was selected with the third overall pick by the Boston Celtics. He won the 2019 Skills Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend.
Tatum attended Chaminade College Preparatory School in Creve Coeur, Missouri. As a freshman, he averaged 13.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and was named 2013 Metro Catholic Conference Co-Player of the year, leading the Red Devils to both (MCC) and Missouri District 2 crowns. As a sophomore in 2014, he averaged 26.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
As a junior, Tatum averaged 25.9 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game, while earning Second-team Naismith Trophy All-American honors. In summer 2015, Tatum joined the St. Louis Eagles Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team on the highly competitive Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) Circuit. On July 11, the Eagles defeated future Duke teammate Harry Giles and Team CP3 74–73 in the Nike Peach Jam Semi-Finals with a game-winning buzzer-beater to advance to the championship game. Tatum finished the game with 28 points and 5 rebounds. On July 12, Tatum tallied 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks in a 104–77 loss to the Georgia Stars and future Duke one-and-done Wendell Carter in the 2015 Nike Peach Jam championship game. During the Circuit, Tatum led the EYBL in scoring with 26.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Prior to his senior year, Tatum made a verbal commitment to Duke University over his father's alma mater, hometown Saint Louis University. Among his senior-year highlights were a 40-point, 17-rebound game in a 76–57 win over Bentonville High School and its star Malik Monk, a 46-point game against Huntington Prep and Miles Bridges at the Cancer Research Classic, and a final 40-point game in a win over DeMatha Catholic High School and future #1 NBA draft pick Markelle Fultz at the 2016 HoopHall Classic.
As a senior in 2015–16 Tatum averaged 29.6 points/9.1 rebounds and posted six 40-point games while leading Chaminade to its second Missouri Class 5A state championship. He was joined by Tyler Cook (who went on to play for Iowa), Mike Lewis (Duquesne), and Will Gladson (Princeton). Tatum was selected to the 2016 McDonald's All-American Game in January 2016, where he won the Skills competition, and in the all-star game on March 30, 2016, at the United Center in Chicago, leading the East Team in scoring with 18 points and grabbing 8 rebounds in a 114–107 loss. Tatum also played in the Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit all-star games and was named the 2016 Gatorade National Player of the Year.
Tatum was a five-star recruit and regarded as one of the top players in the 2016 class. He was ranked the #3 overall player by ESPN behind Harry Giles and Josh Jackson. He committed to Duke University. On January 4, 2017, Tatum scored 19 points in a 110–57 victory over Georgia Tech. On January 7, he recorded 22 points and 6 rebounds in a victory over Boston College. On January 21, Tatum scored 14 in a 70–58 win over Miami. On February 15, he scored 28 points and had 8 rebounds in a victory against Virginia. As the fifth seed in the ACC Tournament, Duke defeated Clemson in the second round and Louisville in the quarterfinals. On March 10, Tatum scored 24 points in a win over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the semifinals. On March 11, he scored 19 points and 8 rebounds in a 75–69 victory against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, earning the Blue Devils the ACC Tournament Championship. As the #2 seed entering the NCAA Tournament, Duke defeated Troy University in the first round, but exited early in a second-round loss to the University of South Carolina.
At the conclusion of his freshman season Tatum opted to go directly into the 2017 NBA Draft as a one-and-done, where he was projected as a first-round selection.
In a controversial move, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge dealt away the team's #1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft to the Philadelphia 76ers in hopes that he could acquire another valuable draft pick and still target the player he actually wanted, Tatum. Not ranked as high as other prospects underrated on draft boards, Tatum was still on the board as the Celtics drafted him #3 overall on June 22, 2017, with the pick they received from Philadelphia. Tatum was the team's second straight #3 pick for a small forward, following Jaylen Brown in 2016. During the 2017 NBA Summer League event in Utah, he displayed his abilities to effect, averaging 18.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and 2.0 assists in nearly 33 minutes of action. Later, in Las Vegas, Tatum produced similar results, averaging 17.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.8 blocks in nearly 32 minutes of action in the three games he was allowed to play. As a result, he was named to the All-Summer League Second Team alongside Bryn Forbes, Cheick Diallo, Wayne Selden Jr., and Kyle Kuzma.
In his NBA debut, Tatum recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds as the team's starting power forward in a 102–99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tatum then recorded a season-high 24 points in a win over the New York Knicks on October 24, 2017. He was named the Eastern Conference's Rookie of The Month for December 2017.
The Celtics finished the season with a record of 55–27, entering the 2018 NBA Playoffs as the second seed in the Eastern Conference. In Game 1 of the first-round series against the seventh seed Milwaukee Bucks, Tatum recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. In Game 4 he broke his playoff-high with 21 points, and then broke it again in Game 6 with 22. The Celtics defeated the Bucks in Game 7 by a score of 112-96, with Tatum scoring 20 points.
In Game 1 of the second-round series against the third seed Philadelphia 76ers, Tatum had a career-high 28 points in a 117–101 win, becoming the first Celtics rookie to score 25 or more points in a playoff game since Larry Bird during the 1980 NBA Playoffs, also against the 76ers. After posting 21 points in a Game 2 victory, he became the youngest player to ever score at least 20 points in four straight playoff games at the age of 20 years, 61 days, surpassing Kobe Bryant who accomplished that feat during the 1999 NBA Playoffs at age 20 years, 272 days. After leading the Celtics with 24 points in a Game 3 overtime win in Philadelphia, he became the first Celtics rookie to score 20 points in five straight playoff games. Bird held the previous record of four. At the end of his playoff run, he joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only rookies in playoff history to record 10 games of 20 or more points scored during their first playoff runs. Furthermore, LeBron James would praise Tatum's work there, stating 'He's built for stardom''.
On May 22, 2018, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
Tatum played in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship and 2015 FIBA Under-19 World Championship, making the Eurobasket.com All-World Championship U19 Second Team.
Representing Team USA at the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit, Tatum saw 16:57 of action, scoring 14 points, pulling down 4 rebounds and also had 2 assists, two steals and one block.
Tatum is the son of Justin Tatum and Brandy Cole. Justin Tatum played basketball at Saint Louis University and is a gym teacher and basketball coach at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, from which he graduated in 1997. He was previously the coach and athletics director at Soldan International Studies High School for six years. Jayson was born when his parents were both 19-year-old undergraduates. His mother, Brandy, graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law and is now a practicing attorney in the St. Louis area. Tatum is the godson of retired NBA player Larry Hughes, who was his father's high school and college teammate. He is also a cousin of former NBA player and former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue. As of 2017, Tatum is a spokesperson for Imo's Pizza. Tatum is also a Christian, crediting Jesus for his success and career.
When in high school at Chaminade College Preparatory School, Tatum was good friends with NHL forward Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames, as the two were placed in the same gym class.