St. Louis Chaminade College Prep forward Jayson Tatum is the top player in 2016 and he certainly proved it at the recent LeBron James Skills Academy.
“This is a great experience coming to camps like this and being able to compete against the best players in the country is always a great thing to do,” Tatum said.
Since Tatum is so young, he is still learning and this AAU season has taught him one important aspect of success.
“You can’t take plays off,” he said. “Every play counts in every camp and every game, so if you want to take your game to the next level, you have to compete every possession.”
Tatum’s most recent offer is from Arizona and it is one that he was not sure would come.
“Last week or so I was at the Kevin Durant camp and I was talking to Stanley Johnson and I was joking around with him asking why Arizona has not offered yet,” Tatum said. “He asked if I was interested and I said yeah.
“They knew I could be interested, but they weren’t going to recruitment because of distance. Now that they know I have an interest in them, they are going to recruit me.”
Although Arizona is new to Tatum’s recruitment, he knows plenty about the Wildcats.
“I have watched them growing up and they have always had great players,” he said. “They had a player named Jesse Perry and he was from St. Louis and I actually knew him when he was in high school.”
As Tatum looks at the schools recruiting him, he has a good idea of what he wants.
“Really what program I can come into and help a team and have an impact,” he said. “I want to win games and also who I feel the most comfortable with. If I decide to leave my home state, I want to make sure I am comfortable there.”
Not only is Tatum focused on his recruitment, but he also wants to maintain his top ranking in his class.
“It is definitely something I look at, but you can’t harp on it too much because you can drop in the blink of an eye,” he said. “It does show how my hard work has paid off and it is nice that somebody has noticed.”