Duke-Commit Jayson Tatum Named Gatorade National Player of the Year

On Thursday, SLAM’s 2015-2016 HS diarist Jayson Tatum was named the 2016 Gatorade National Player of the Year. The Duke-bound forward has been killing it all season long and just recently led his school, Chaminade College Prep in St. Louis, to its second ever state championship.

More info from USA Today:

Four-time NBA All-Star Anfernee Hardaway starred in the most recognizable shoe commercials of the 1990s, but “Lil’ Penny” downshifted into a supporting role today as Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis, Mo.) senior forward Jayson Tatum became the headliner. Disguised as a beat writer and sitting amongst local media, Hardaway ambushed an unsuspecting Tatum at a bogus press conference in the school auditorium and handed him the 2015-16 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year trophy.


“I think it’s pretty shocking for me to be holding award this right now,” said Tatum, 18, a Duke signee. “To be listed among the guys who’ve won it before, well, I’m honored just to be a finalist, let alone win it. This is right up there with winning a state championship. I was in the audience the day (Chaminade alumnus and Washington Wizards guard) Bradley Beal won this award. This was always a dream of mine.”


The 6-foot-9, 205-pound wing led the Red Devils (27-5) to the Class 5 state championship this past season, averaging 29.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and three assists per game. The state’s three-time Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, he is also a 2016 American Family Insurance ALL-USA First Team selection. Ranked as the nation’s No. 2 senior recruit in the ESPN 100, Tatum anchored Chaminade’s run to the No. 7 slot in the USA TODAY Super 25 Expert Rankings.