While he won’t be playing in the All-Star Game on Sunday, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum had himself a great weekend. The second-year player helped lead Team USA to a win in the Rising Stars game on Friday. The next night, he would win the Skills Challenge in an exciting finish.
Team USA beat Team World in the Rising Stars game 161-144, kicking off All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. The game featured the NBA’s best rookies and sophomores on teams based on nationality.
Coached by teammate Kyrie Irving, Tatum scored 30 points and had nine rebounds in the win. Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma scored 35 points, earning him the game’s MVP award. 76ers guard Ben Simmons led Team World with 28 points.
Saturday’s Skills Challenge showcased passing, dribbling and shooting ability. Among some of the best players in the league, Tatum came out on top.
Tatum beat out the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley and Nikola Jokić of the Nuggets in the first and second rounds of the competition. In the finals, Tatum faced off against Hawks rookie Trae Young. Tatum beat out Young at the last second, banking in a shot from half-court.
Tatum’s successful weekend comes as the Celtics are still trying to get their season fully on the right track. At 37-21, the Celtics are fourth in the Eastern Conference, which many thought they would run away with. Tatum is averaging 16 points and six rebounds this season.
Coming in third place for Rookie of the Year voting last season, Tatum has a bright future. He left a mark on this year’s All-Star Weekend, and it probably won’t be his last.