This Friday is Jayson Tatum Day here at NBC Sports Boston. Be sure to check out our exclusive content around Tatum throughout the day, both online and on the broadcast of Celtics-Timberwolves, which begins Friday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 8 p.m. You can also stream it on the MyTeams App.
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Jayson Tatum already is an elite NBA player at age 21.
But perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by his rapid ascent to stardom.
After all, the Boston Celtics forward has risen to the top at virtually every level of his basketball career.
At Chaminade High School in the St. Louis area, Tatum was named his conference's co-Player of the Year as a freshman. He earned Gatorade National Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2016 and was the No. 3 recruit in the country before committing to Duke, where he landed on the ACC All-Freshman team.
We could list more of Tatum's accolades, but the best way to appreciate his talent is to check out the evidence.
With that in mind, here are some of the best moments from Tatum's budding basketball career, starting with a high school showdown against a familiar face.
High School Highlights
That's Tatum at the 2016 Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., going off for 40 points against DeMatha -- which featured future No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz. (Tatum's Chaminade squad lost in overtime.)
Here are more gems from Tatum's high school days. (We also tracked down some of Tatum's middle school highlights, which you can check out here.)
Tatum averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in his lone season at Duke and scored a combined 33 points in the Blue Devils' two NCAA Tournament games that season.
Tatum wasted no time making NBA highlight reels as a rookie while playing 30.5 minutes per game. The best moment of his rookie campaign came in the playoffs, though, when he posterized LeBron James in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals:
Tatum increased his scoring total in a solid sophomore campaign -- and added an NBA Skills Challenge victory to his resume.
The 21-year-old has taken his game to another level in 2019-20, averaging 22.4 points en route to his first NBA All-Star nod. Here are some of his best plays of the first half, including his game-winner against the New York Knicks earlier this season: