Tori Foster, Sports Editor
There are many well-known St. Louis professional athletes, but Jayson Tatum rings many bells around the Lou.
Jayson Tatum is a basketball player who plays for the Boston Celtics in the NBA.
Tatum was born in St. Louis on March 1, 1993. He has been interested in basketball since his childhood. He is the godson to retired NBA player Larry Hughes who played 14 seasons for six different NBA teams including the Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Tatum attended Chaminade College Preparatory High School. As a sophomore back in 2014, he averaged 26.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. By his senior year, Tatum’s Recruiting Service Consensus Index ranking was No.3..
Upon graduating, he was scouted to Duke University. In his college career, Tatum won 2016-17 Atlantic Coast Conference Team All Freshman- third team, All-ACC, Wooden Award-Preseason Player, and 2017 All-ACC Tournament.
In 2017, the 21 years-old was drafted as a first round third overall pick by the Celtics as a small forward. Tatum signed a three-year $20 million contract with the Celtics which included an annual average salary of $6,725,400. In 2019-20, Tatum will earn a base salary of $7,830,000, while carrying a cap hit of $7,830,000 and a dead cap value of $7,830,000.
He made his NBA debut on Oct. 17, 2017. Within his first year, he received 2017-18 All-Rookie. Tatum career average is 14.8 points. He played in 159 games.
During his rookie year, Tatum joined Imo’s Pizza as new spokesperson in 2017. When asked about Imo’s Pizza on Sports Center, Jayson did not hesitate in saying, “That’s the best pizza on Earth.” He even has a special order at Imo’s called the “JT Special,” a pizza with bacon, pepperoni and green peppers, which was featured as a limited-time-offer to celebrate the new partnership.
Before 2017 ended, Tatum visited the Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis to congratulate them on collecting the most donations for hurricane survivors. He autographed posters and posed for individual photos for the children. The children also got the chance to play Tatum in a four-minute game of NBA 2K18 on the PlayStation 4.
In 2018, Mayor Lyda Krewson proclaimed every July 14 has been known as “Jayson Tatum Day” in the city of St. Louis.
As of right now, Tatum is going into his third year in the league while still doing many things to give back to the Lou.
Tatum release his first shoes on June 13, “The Jayson Tatum x Nike Air Max 97 Celebrates St. Louis.” Shoe websites describe the shoe by stating the following:
“Created as an homage to Tatum’s Chaminade College Preparatory School in Creve Coeur, Missouri, the shoe is covered in the school’s Red Devils colors with red and black on the uppers, followed by printed basketball cartoon graphics applied on its mudguard. It also features drawings of the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch. Finishing details include silver tongues that read, ‘Tatum’ and ‘The Deuce’ as a nod to his nickname, along with a silver midsole to further symbolize the stainless-steel Gateway Arch.”
Later in the month, Michael Jordan announced Jayson Tatum was signing with Jordan Brand to join Team Jumpman.
“It’s a tremendous feeling to be a part of the Jordan Brand family,” said Tatum in Nike’s press release. “I can’t really express how happy and excited I am for this jouey. It’s truly an honor.”
In July 2019, Tatum came to St. Louis to have a basketball camp at his high school, Chaminade. Hundreds of kids packed the gymnasium to show off their hooping skills and to get a very important message from Tatum on how he used to be in their shoes.
“For me it’s just coming back and showing kids you can make it out of St. Louis, whatever your dreams and aspirations are, you know we come from the same place and everything is possible,” sadi former Chaminade star Jayson Tatum.
Jayson Tatum loves St. Louis through all its flaws and is willing to impact and change as much as he can.
But don’t forget next summer July 14 is Tatum day.