Jayson Tatum works with kids at his basketball camp at Chaminade.

(Sam Masterson, KMOX)

Breakout Star of NBA Playoffs, Jayson Tatum Carries On Chaminade Tradition

Tatum ran through drills, played some not-so-competitive games of one-on-one and then answered questions from the campers.

July 12, 2018 - 1:42 pm
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CREVE COEUR (KMOX) - Jayson Tatum remembered the days he was the camper and his fellow Chaminade College Prepory predecessor, Brad Beal was organizing basketball camps for aspiring young athletes in the St. Louis area. This week, Tatum was the one fielding questions from media and campers at his ProCamps basketball camp. 

The three-day camp brought more than 350 boys and girls to the Chaminade court. Tatum ran through drills, played some not-so-competitive games of one-on-one and then answered questions from the campers. 

"How did it feel dunking on LeBron James?" Asked one young man, recalling a moment from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals when the Boston Celtics forward threw down over the four-time NBA MVP of the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

"It was a great feeling, obviously one of the best players in the world," Tatum answered him. "I was in my first year and to be able to dunk on LeBron, in the playoffs, Game 7, on national T.V., is something I'll always remember." 

 Related story: Tatum Matches Celtic Rookie Record, Shines In Game 7 Win

The 20-year-old was one of the surprise stars of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. The only players who scored more total points in the playoffs were James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. 

"No matter how young I was I knew that when my opportunity came I would be able to show the world at the young at what I can do," Tatum. Now he's hoping the next Beal or Tatum is right here at his camp. 

Tatum's Celtics may have a slightly easier road in the NBA Playoffs next season, with the return of injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward – plus the departure of James from Cleveland in the Eestern Conference to the Los Angeles Lakers of the Western Conference.

While Tatum is back in town for the offseason, he has accepted an invitation from the St. Louis Cardinals to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's 7:15 p.m. game against the Cincinnati Reds.