Thursday Night was a night to remember for Duke’s Jayson Tatum.
After averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds with the Blue Devils in 2016-17, Tatum declared for the Draft after just one season back in April. After months of workouts and meetings, Jayson was selected with the number 3 overall pick by the Boston Celtics.
But it was his reaction after being selected that impressed so many people watching last night’s telecast.
Enjoy your moment young man! pic.twitter.com/ciWbz2LmyQ
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 23, 2017
“It’s an incredible feeling,” Tatum told ESPN immediately after being drafted. “I gotta give honor to God for being in this position. The feeling is just everything I wish for and more. I’m trying not to cry right now, I’m just so happy.”
Tatum was raised by his mother, Brandy Cole, who had him while she was in college in 1998. Now, Jayson and Brandy want to give back and help other single moms that were in a similar position.
“I would love to help take the mothers out that are in school or working and for a year or two,” Tatum said, “and just help pay their bills and utilities and just be a blessing to help have that burden taken off their shoulders.”
Jayson and Brady believe that by starting this non-profit, they can help other moms and young children achieve their dreams without the burden of knowing where their next meal or their next payment is going to come from.
“Because I grew up in a single parent home with my mom, growing up things weren’t always the best,” Tatum told USA Today. “And just to be a blessing to some parent with a child and they’re working and just to have a house to live in and a roof over your head and free utilities. I think someone would be very grateful.”
Tatum shares his desire to play for his Creator on his Twitter page. His bio reads, “If you put God First anything is possible!!!” and is followed by the reason he plays basketball: “In Jesus’ name I Play.”
We should not live in fear. God is testing us, testing our faith in him. It's all in God's hands. Fear NO man but GOD!??
— Jayson Tatum (@jaytatum0) November 10, 2016
Even when he was 14 years old, back in 2012, Tatum followed in the footsteps of Jeremy Lin and shared a picture of the reason he plays basketball.
In Jesus name I play @JLin7 pic.twitter.com/vGiubsSP
— Jayson Tatum (@jaytatum0) March 17, 2012