Summer 2024

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum honors God with prominent new back tattoo

Small forward Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics is enjoying a breakout year, and February was his best month yet. With averages of 30.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, all while shooting 48.1 percent from 3-point range, he was named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Month for the first time in his three-year career.

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He also played in his first All-Star Game last month, an honor he rightly deserved with career-best season averages in points (23.4), rebounds (7.1) and assists per game (3.0).

Soon after the All-Star Game, Tatum also revealed a prominent new tattoo across the back of his shoulders. It says “Gods will” in big letters and references Proverbs 3:5-6 underneath: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

While he has received some criticism for the absence of an apostrophe in his new tattoo, the ink is continued expression of the faith in Christ he’s had since an early age.

“I grew up in the church,” Tatum said in an interview with Rob Maadi for Faith on the Field. “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 to keep him grounded now that he is an NBA player.

“[Faith is] something that has stuck with me for a long time. I even got it tattooed on my wrist. 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.

Tatum’s Twitter bio says, “If you put God First anything is possible!!! Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me!!! In Jesus name i Play”

Tatum, who turned 22 last week, was drafted by the Celtics with the third overall pick out of Duke in 2017. He thanked God in the immediate aftermath. He has helped the Celtics reach the postseason each of his first two seasons in the NBA, and Boston (42-21) is well on its way to another postseason berth again this year. Tatum was also named to the NBA All-Rookie first team thanks to an impressive rookie season in 2018.

Tatum and the Celtics lost to Oklahoma City on Sunday, but seek to bounce back Tuesday at Indiana at 7 p.m. ET.

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