Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Celtics rookie forward Jayson Tatum says he plays for Jesus

Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum scored a career-high 22 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 steals in leading the Celtics to a 110-89 win over the New York Knicks.

Tatum, the 3rd overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft by Boston, was expected to ease his way into the rotation, but after the injury to free-agent signing Gordon Hayward last week, Tatum is now likely to play major minutes for a team that was expected to contend for an Eastern Conference title.

If you look at Tatum’s twitter and Instagram page, you will quickly see that he is a follower of Jesus Christ and his faith is essential to who he is. Recently, he spoke with Rob Maadi on “Faith on the Field” and talked about where his spiritual walk began and why he has adopted the motto “In Jesus name, I play.”

“That’s something that has stuck with me for a long time. I even got it tattooed on my wrist,” Tatum told Maadi. “From a young age, my grandmother was the first one to always remind me of how blessed I am to be in this position, the talents I have, and everything that you do, you do it for Jesus.”

Tatum said his faith in Christ began at an early age and has been something that has grown and progressed over the years.

“I grew up in the church,” Tatum told Maadi. “I was really young, I think I was like 5 or 6 when I made the decision, but it was more of a gradual process for me.”

Tatum told Maadi that his faith helps him and keeps him grounded now that he is an NBA player.

“It helps me a lot. That’s an understatement,” said Tatum. “My grandmother always told me to always remember where you came from. To whom much is given, much is required. That’s always stuck with me. She told me to never be arrogant and always be humble. No matter how this game of basketball takes you.”

Tatum is averaging 14.8 points, and 7.8 rebounds through his first four NBA games. Next up for the Celtics, is a trip to Milwaukee to face the Bucks Thursday Night October 26 on TNT.