Tatum Team USA

Jayson Tatum celebrating after winning the gold medal with Team USA Men's Basketball in Tokyo

St. Louisan Jayson Tatum added another significant accomplishment to his already glowing basketball legacy on Friday night. He became a gold medalist.

The former Chaminade College Prep All-American played a huge part in the USA’s 87-82 victory over France in the Gold Medal game at the 32nd Olympic Games in Toyko, Japan.

Tatum enjoyed a stellar performance as he scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 21 minutes of action. He was eight of 14 from the field, including three 3-pointers. When leading scorer Kevin Durant went to the bench to take a rest early in the second quarter, Tatum came off the bench with seven quick points to keep things flowing for the USA, which won its fourth consecutive gold medal in men’s basketball.

A veteran of the USA Basketball system, Tatum was making his first appearance with the men’s Olympic team at the age of 22. He was terrific as he averaged 15.2 points, which was second on the team behind Durant. He also averaged 3.3 rebounds a game while shooting 49 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the 3-point line. His top scoring performance came against the Czech Republic when he scored a game-high 27 points.

Tatum becomes the first player from St. Louis to win a gold medal as a member of the men’s basketball team since 1968 when the late, great Jo Jo White helped lead the USA to the gold in Mexico City. Ironically, both White and Tatum played for the Boston Celtics.

The last players from the state of Missouri to win Olympic gold in basketball were Jon Koncak (Kansas City) and Joe Kleine (Slater), who were both part of the 1984 team that won in Los Angeles.

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