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Jayson Tatum’s Father Justin Tatum Led His High School to State Title in 1997

Nithin Joseph

Years Before Tatum Signed a $163,000,300 Contract, Father Justin Tatum ‘Dominated’ While Leading High School to State Title in 1997

Jayson Tatum is one of the top players in the new generation of NBA superstars. With a bright future ahead of him, JT was a highly sought-after talent entering the 2017 NBA Draft. He was phenomenal during his time with the Duke Blue Devils, which set him up for a good pro career. However, Jayson isn’t the only baller in his family. As per, Justin Tatum was quite the player back in the day.

Justin Tatum played basketball professionally in the Netherlands, where his son Jayson would often come to visit him. While there, Justin picked up a coach’s skill set, which translated well once he returned to the US. Once back in America, he began coaching youth teams and even coached his son. Under his father’s guidance, Jayson took the first steps necessary to become an NBA superstar.

Justin was a high school phenom, playing at Christian Brothers College High School. He had exceptional talent and often dominated his opponents with his unique style of play similar to his son Jayson. Justin’s athleticism, finishing, and shooting were all top-notch. And, according to his website, he even led his team to a state title back in 1997.


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However, his career didn’t just end there. Following high school, Justin went on to play college basketball at Saint Louis University. It was there that he met Brandy Cole-Barnes and the two started dating. The couple had Jayson on March 3rd, 1998. After college, Justin would go on to play professionally in the Netherlands before returning to the United States to take up coaching as his calling.

He worked at his alma mater, Christian Brothers College before accepting a position at Soldan International Studies High School. The vet would then go on to be a Nike Elite Basketball League coach. Currently he serves as a coach with the Australian National Basketball League team, the Illawarra Hawks.

Jayson had a complicated relationship with his father

Jayson Tatum and his father Justin are incredibly close. But they have had a very strained and complicated relationship when Jayson was growing up. According to the Celtics star, his father was a man he was incredibly afraid of. In particular, due to his aggressive coaching style.

In an interview with Graham Bensinger, Tatum had recalled how his father would call him names, cuss him out, and push him to his limit, to the point, where Jayson would start to wonder if his father even liked him.

It was tough love, to say the least, something that Jayson only understood years later. His father was just doing whatever it took to elevate his game. And that had nothing to do with how much he actually loved and cared for him.

About the author

Nithin Joseph

Nithin Joseph


Nithin is a content writer at The SportsRush. Like his favorite athlete Kobe Bryant, the company has helped Nithin elevate his writing skills to a whole new level, especially as an NBA content writer. With over 1500 articles to his name, Nithin's love for the sport knows no bounds. And, as he continues to watch the sport on a daily basis, he hopes his fascination with the NBA, especially the Miami Heat will inspire more and more readers to give the sport a chance. Perhaps, one day making basketball in India as big as it is in the United States.

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