Jayson Tatum Assists Greater Boston Community in Time of Need

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BOSTON – Jayson Tatum stepped up for the Boston Celtics on the court all season long. Now, during a time of global hardship, he’s stepping up for his communities off the court.

The 22-year-old All-Star announced Monday morning on Instagram that through a partnership between his Jayson Tatum Foundation, Feeding America, Lineage Logistics and his childhood friend, Bradley Beal, donations up to $250,000 would be matched to both the Boston and the St. Louis communities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Together, Tatum's and Beal's donations will help to provide food through Feeding America, the Greater Boston Food Bank and the St. Louis Food Bank, the latter of which represents their hometown.

Shortly after making the announcement, Tatum joined a conference call with the Boston media, with whom he discussed the thought process behind the donation.

“I’m just trying to find a way that I can be of some assistance during this time,” he explained. “And I always try to find a way to give back.”

Giving back is something that Tatum believes he and all of his NBA peers should be doing during this challenging time, considering their abundance of resources and vast global reach. Whether it be a donation of money or supplies, or even a simple message of encouragement, this is an opportunity for them to act as leaders and as role models.

“Just as professional athletes, using our platform, using our voice to speak out, we can reach so many people around the world through social media and things like that,” Tatum said. “And just sending out a positive message and encouraging everybody to do their part and being able to get through this together is, I think, the role that we have.”

For now, Tatum is putting his role as a community leader above his role as a basketball player. As a testament to that, during the conference call, he was asked about playing basketball at home during the quarantine period, but he responded that he didn’t have access to a hoop. “It would be a lot easier, especially if I had a basketball court at my house, but that’s kind of expensive,” he responded.

Yet, he’s willing to fork over a hefty amount of cash to help out his fellow citizens who are in need of essential items. How’s that for being a selfless leader?

Tatum has also used his platform to help educate people about proper actions and inactions to take during the outbreak.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh even tweeted out a video last week of Tatum encouraging people to “continue to practice social distancing and stay home as much as we can so that this can pass over and we can get through this together, so we can get back to doing things we love and being around our loved ones. So everybody, just continue do [your] part, stay safe, stay at home, continue to pray for our health and those in need.”

The way Tatum sees it, the sooner everyone buys into this protocol, the sooner everything can go back to normal. The sooner everything goes back to normal, the sooner he and his fellow NBA peers can return to the basketball court.

In the meantime, Tatum will continue to do his part in helping the world return to normalcy while encouraging all who are capable to follow his lead.

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