The basketball program at Chaminade has known some fairly substantial talent in recent years, thanks to the likes of David Lee and Bradley Beal, who used their skills to move on to the University of Florida and later the NBA. There's a new name in the Red Devil pipeline, and Jayson Tatum is about to see if he can make a splash in a bid to represent his country before he sets foot on the court for Chaminade at the high school level.
Tatum, a 6-foot-5 Freshman Guard, travels to Colorado Springs Friday for the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team mini-camp. There, he'll join more than 40 players who are trying to make the 16-and-Under team which will compete in World Championship events next summer, along with other squads which will compete internationally in future years.
“We hope the players are more familiar with USA Basketball after the weekend and have a great, competitive weekend playing against outstanding competition, and we have an opportunity to evaluate their skills,” said Don Showalter, an Iowa high school coach who will lead the clinic, in a news release announcing the invitations.
If this path sounds familiar, it should. Beal made the U-16 squad and starred on it in 2009, and was MVP of the U17 team the next year.
Tatum and Beal first crossed paths via the AAU Eagles squad, and Tatum told Patch they talk regularly.
Tatum's rise comes after a summer where he made an impression at the Fab Frosh basketball camp in Georgia, where he was named the second best player in his class. That, in turn, has brought plenty of mail from college basketball programs, which will likely have to wait until his senior season for a decision about where he could play at the next level.
The soft-spoken Tatum is taking it all in stride and taking the advice of his parents, who both played sports at the college level. His father, Justin, played basketball and graduated from St. Louis University.
"Don’t let it get to my head just always keep working, always first god and family, stay in the books and basketball after that," Jayson said.