The award was presented to Tatum at his high school, Chaminade College Preparatory School, on Thursday by four-time NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway. With the honor, Tatum is now a candidate for the 2016 Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award.
Tatum signed with Duke in November as part of one of the nation’s top-ranked recruiting classes. He is the second Duke signee to earn Gatorade National Player of the Year, alongside 2012 winner Jabari Parker. Former Duke guard Greg Paulus was the recipient of Gatorade National Athlete of the Year honors in 2005.
Tatum is the second player from the state of Missouri to earn Gatorade National Player of the Year honors, joining 2011 recipient and fellow St. Louis native Bradley Beal.
A three-time Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year honoree, Tatum averaged 29.5 points and 9.1 rebounds as a senior at Chaminade College Prep. He led the school to the 2016 Class 5 state championship, pouring in 40 points in the title game against Kickapoo High School. He topped the 40-point mark in six games as a senior.
Tatum is a 2016 McDonald’s All-America Game and Jordan Brand Classic selection. He was named a first-team Naismith Trophy All-American and one of five finalists for the Naismith Trophy Player of the Year award, as well as a first-team All-USA honoree by USA Today.
Tatum has extensive experience in the USA Basketball program, having earned three gold medals and averaged 11.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 19 games for his country.
Tatum helped lead the U.S. to gold at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship in Heraklion, Greece, with averages of 13.9 points and 4.6 rebounds. He captured his first international gold medal at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and followed it up the next summer with another gold at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship.
A student ambassador at Chaminade College Prep, Tatum has volunteered locally by helping to provide meals for the underprivileged. He has also volunteered as a speaker with at-risk youth and as an instructor at youth basketball clinics.
With his selection as Gatorade National Player of the Year, Tatum joins a list of winners that includes Alonzo Mourning, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Parker, among many others since the award’s inception in 1987.
Press release by Duke Sports Information