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Aug 02

Biggest Fan-Sports Talk With Anthony Bonelli And Dan Valleau And More

Support can be given or shown in so many ways, monetarily, by guiding someone to their destination, or by just showing someone that you love them and believe in their abilities. When an athlete is making the transition from playing collegiate sports to playing professional sports, it can sometimes be difficult for the athlete to adjust to the level of play or other aspects of being a professional athlete. Boston Celtics’ Rookie Jayson Tatum sure has had a lot of support during his life and especially during his transition from Duke University to the Boston Celtics.

Parents can show their children the definition of words through their actions. Determination is one quality that NBA players must possess to be considered elite. Brandy Cole, Tatum’s mother, sure showed one of the newest members of the Celtics what the word determination meant through her actions. On July 4, 1997, just weeks after Cole graduated from high school, she discovered that she was pregnant with Jayson. Tatum was born on March 3, 1998. Despite being an 18-year-old single mother Cole enrolled at the University of Missouri St. Louis to achieve her goal of obtaining a college degree. While attending classes Cole worked part-time at Cingular Wireless to help pay for college and household costs. Most times Tatum accompanied his mother to her classes, which Tatum readily admitted was boring. More than a decade later Cole has degrees in Communications, Political Science, and Law.

Throughout Tatum’s childhood his mother was very tough on him. She demanded that he must do well in school despite his basketball talents, which is rare today. When Tatum was making one of the toughest decisions of his life, where he would continue his education and play basketball, one of the deciding factors which led him to choose Duke University was the fact that Duke’s Head Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski expects all his players to earn a degree even if they declare for the NBA Draft before obtaining their degree. Cole told ESPN College Basketball Writer Jeff Goodman in an article written in 2016, "Coach K won’t retire your jersey until you graduate. That’s a big thing for me." Cole continued, "Duke kids come back and get their degrees. I told him I don’t care how long it takes. He sees how hard I’ve worked."

Imagine two people are climbing Mount Everest with the goal of making it to the top. Accomplishing this feat will not occur in one day, or maybe not even in one week. There may be times when both or one climber wants to stop climbing and give up on achieving their goal of reaching the top. When a basketball player is trying to make it to the NBA, he may have similar sentiments. In these types of situations NBA prospects and climbers need people to encourage them and tell them not to give up on achieving their goal.

Most parents beam with pride when their children accomplish their goals. In an interview with Goodman during a Celtics’ Summer League game in Las Vegas, Cole was asked what she thought of her son’s play in the game. As a smile came across her face she said, "Well you know, I wasn’t happy about that missed free throw," she continued, "How many parents get to watch their children realize their dreams? This is amazing." Every NBA player has fans: those who wear their jersey with pride and maybe even those who will buy front row seats for a game just for the chance to say hello to someone they idolize. Tatum, without question, has fans like this already, but his Biggest Fan might just so happen to be his mother. No matter how many points Tatum scores during his NBA career, his mother will not be satisfied until he walks across the stage to receive his college degree.