From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Sophomore guard/forward, Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis, Mo.)
Greatness Present: If Jayson Tatum is truly destined for greatness, he can be grateful that he’s had some top-notch guidance along the way. It begins with bloodlines, of course.
The 6-foot-8, 190-pound Tatum is the son of former St. Louis University standout Justin Tatum, who as the coach of crosstown rival Christian Brothers College High has actually been tasked with coaching against his talented son during the season. (For the record, CBC is one of only two teams to defeat Chaminade in 2013-14.)
The younger Tatum also has the fortune of attending the same high school as 2010-11 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year and current Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who has been something of a mentor to Tatum since he was very young.
Regardless, he undoubtedly owes the bulk of his success to his own natural abilities, which have helped him average 26 points and 11 rebounds per game this season and lead the Flyers (21-2) to the Metro Catholic Conference championship. Ranked as the nation’s No. 4 recruit in the Class of 2016 by ESPN, Tatum is also dishing out five assists per game while shooting 83 percent from the free throw line.
Greatness Past: Tatum was a member of the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team that won a gold medal at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Uruguay this past summer. He started all five games, averaging 10 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest.
Greatness Future: He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination but has received offers from multiple Division I programs, including Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas and Ohio State.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.