Believe it or not, Boston Celtics star and St. Louis native Jayson Tatum actually played his AAU basketball for a program out of the Grind City, the Memphis War Eagles.
And Tatum's AAU coach, Frank Harris, was there to cheer on his proud pupil, even making a bold declaration or two to NBC Sports Boston's Kyle Draper:
"When first seen him [in fifth grade], after the first couple of practices, you could tell," Harris told Draper. "I said he's not only gonna be a pro, he's gonna be a Hall of Famer. That’s me, I’m a little biased, but when I first saw him, he and [University of Kansas star] Dedric Lawson played together, it was like magic. He’s not just a scorer, he gets everybody involved, he’s doing everything. He’s a great kid."
So how did Tatum, an All-American out of St. Louis power Chaminade Prep, come to play summer ball more than four hours away? The connection goes back to his father, Justin Tatum, who starred alongside Larry Hughes in the late 1990's at another St. Louis juggernaut, Christian Brothers College High, where he is currently the program's head coach. Harris coached against CBC several times, and won, leaving enough of an impression on the elder Tatum years later to prompt him to send Jayson to Harris.
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