One of the “LUCKY KIDS”: Exploring the Lives of Justin Tatum and Brandy Cole-Barnes, Proud Parents of Jayson Tatum

From high school to college and the NBA, Jayson Tatum’s parents, Justin Tatum and Brandy Cole-Barnes, have supported their son throughout his whole basketball career.

Jayson Tatum credits his parents, Justin Tatum and Brandy Cole-Barnes, for their “tough love” in helping him achieve his current level of success in sports.

On March 3, 1998, while attending Saint Louis University, Justin and Brandy gave birth to their son Jayson. Though Justin and Brandy never shared a home and eventually called it quits on their romance, the future Boston Celtics player attended both of their schools as a child. When he was younger, he went to University of Missouri–St. Louis classes with his mother, and he would often find himself in the locker room with his father when he was playing basketball at Saint Louis University.

In November 2016, Jayson, who refers to himself as a “mama’s boy,” told ESPN that his mother Brandy is his “best friend.” “I’m the biggest mama’s boy ever, and I’m proud to say that,” he continued.

Jayson Tatum Parents, Brandy Cole and Justin Tatum

One of the hardest things in the NBA player’s childhood was his relationship with his father. When Jayson was eight years old, his father left Europe to pursue a career as a professional basketball player in the Netherlands. As a result, Jayson was raised mostly by his mother. Jayson never shared a home with his dad. Despite the fact that his father has given him severe criticism and coaching methods, Jayson expresses gratitude to him for helping him to progress farther in his career.

“Having him be that tough on me in basketball really you know, made me tougher on and off the court,” Jayson told KSDK. “He saw the potential in me before I saw it in myself.”

The information on Justin Tatum and Brandy Cole-Barnes, Jayson Tatum’s parents, is provided below, along with all relevant details.

They were both in college when Jayson was born.

Jayson Tatum and his mom

When Brandy graduated from University City High School, a full athletic scholarship to the University of Tennessee was reportedly waiting for her, according to WCVB. This resulted from her four years of varsity volleyball team participation in high school. Not only was she one of the top five graduates in her class, but she was also the class president for her senior year.It is reported by ESPN that she fell pregnant shortly after graduating from high school and learned she was expecting Jayson. Rather than going to a school outside of the area, she decided to pursue a degree in political science and communications at a local institution in St. Louis. In order to help pay for daycare and school, she worked many part-time jobs in addition to her education.”It was really tough, but I felt like I had to do it for us both,” she said regarding her choice in an interview with the site.Throughout her additional education, including her time in law and business school, Brandy stuck to this pattern. When Brandy was a college student, Jayson would accompany her to classes. Jayson thought back on the time he and his mother spent going to school together in an article he wrote for The Players’ Tribune in April 2016. He said, “I remember eating snacks or losing myself in books or video games while sitting in the back of her classes.”He went on, “I stayed silent and occasionally listened in because I thought most of her professors were boring and talked a lot.” That being said, she had her priorities, and I had mine. It felt just like any other day. That’s what transpired in the end. My grandmother and I used to go to school together when my mother didn’t have enough money for a babysitter and she was still working.Justin was a student at Saint Louis University and involved in the basketball program during the relevant era. Jayson would have the chance to spend time with his father both on the court and in the locker room, where he could see the pre-game speeches firsthand. On the other side, his mother was his primary caregiver during his early years.Justin was a major star in the basketball world.

Jayson Tatum with his father Justin

When it came to becoming a star in the NBA, Jayson did as his father did. Larry Hughes, a former NBA player, was a basketball player for Justin’s future godfather while they were both students at Christian Brothers College. He continued to play basketball in college, juggling his budding athletic career with becoming a father at Saint Louis University.

Following his college graduation, Justin played basketball professionally for three years in the Netherlands. During this time, Brandy would accompany Jayson on his trips to see his father. It was “tough,” according to Justin, to spend ten months of the year apart from his son in the Netherlands, as he told Ladue News. He helped coach youth teams in his free time while serving abroad, a skill he brought back to the United States when he decided to become a coach instead of a player.

Following the conclusion of his professional career, he accepted a job at Soldan International Studies High School and spent the 2006–2007 season as the assistant basketball coach at Christian Brothers College, his alma school. According to his website, Justin finally went back to his alma mater to take on the role of head coach, a position he has held for more than ten seasons. In order to help kids learn basketball and make new friends, he has also been hosting youth camps for more than ten years.

Jayson Tatum with his father Justin

As Jayson grew older, his father supported him in realizing his goal of becoming a professional basketball player by serving as his coach and trainer. According to the Boston Celtics player, his parents, particularly his father, “were extremely tough” and “took it easy” with him. In an honest conversation with Graham Bensinger in October 2022, Jayson revealed how his father’s coaching “put a strain” on their bond.

He remarked, “I feel like I lost out on a relationship between a father and son.” “My dad and I have only ever gone to haircuts and games or practices. We avoided visiting theme parks. All we did was basketball; we didn’t go fishing, on picnics, or actually have father-son conversations.

According to Jayson, his father would frequently yell at him, humiliate him in front of his teammates, and even throw the ball at him. “In his eyes, he wanted me to be the toughest,” the man clarified. He aspired for me to excel.

And that was how he was. believed I would play better and, in a way, I did, if he disturbed me,” he went on. “I would become quite angry. I would play better because I would become so furious.

Jayson credits his success today to the tough love he received from Justin, despite their tumultuous relationship growing up. “I appreciate that he was very tough on me; otherwise, I wouldn’t be here,” he said in his explanation.

Since then, Jayson and his father have gotten closer and their connection has been repaired.

Jayson Tatum with his familyJAYSON TATUM INSTAGRAM

Brandy holds several different degrees, including a law degree, which she earned in 2010. When she was in law school, Jayson would often be by her side and would flip through some of her textbooks as she studied.

While speaking to Bleacher Report, she recalled one moment where he declared that he didn’t want to read “these kind of books” and that he just wanted to play basketball, to which she’d tell him, “Well, you better work really hard.”

Jayson Tatum with his familyJAYSON TATUM INSTAGRAM

In addition to Jayson, Justin has two more children: a son, Jaycob, and a daughter, Kayden. Jaycob went to high school at his father’s alma mater, Christian Brothers College, where he played football. During his time on the team, they won two state championships. He now plays football at Western Illinois University, according to his father’s website.

Jayson Tatum with his familyJAYSON TATUM INSTAGRAM

In 2016, Brandy married her now-husband, Marcus “Jake” Barnes, who previously worked as a counselor at the Reebok All-American Camp, according to the Boston Herald. Jayson shared several photos from the Bahamas wedding on Instagram to celebrate the occasion. In one photo, he poses with the bride and groom as they match in all-white ensembles. “She’s married now! Happy for you Momma! Love ya both,” he wrote in the caption.

In another photo, he can be seen giving his mom a kiss on the cheek. He captioned the sweet shot: “Mommas boy till the end! I’m so happy for her️.”

Jayson Tatum with his motherJAYSON TATUM INSTAGRAM

Brandy always instilled the importance of maintaining good grades and getting an education in her son. Speaking to Sentinel & Enterprise, Brandy reflected on how she handled the balance between her son’s commitment to basketball, and to the classroom.

“One time I had to call his bluff, because I would always tell him that we don’t do C’s,” she said of her son. “It was B’s and above because I knew what he was capable of. He would always do fine, but one time he tried me, and I kept him home from a tournament. It about killed him. It was fourth or fifth grade. He almost lost it, but ever since then, he knew I meant business.”

Though he only attended Duke University for one year before he was drafted to the NBA, Brandy’s one wish is for Jayson to finish his degree.

“That’s a big thing for me. A lot of Duke kids come back and get their degree. I told him, It doesn’t matter how long it takes. He’s seen how hard I’ve worked,” Brandy said in her interview with ESPN.

Jason Tatum and his momJAYSON TATUM INSTAGRAM

In an interview with Today, Brandy said she knew by the time Jayson was in fourth grade that he would make it to the NBA.

“I knew he was gifted — he would do things and make moves and that you just couldn’t teach,” she said. “It was like it was just innate in him.”

However, Brandy made sure to set boundaries with herself to ensure she was still pushing him to be his best while also allowing him to be a kid.

“We can’t want it more than they do. That’s the biggest thing,” she explained. “And I think sometimes we want to push them more. And so that was the line for me — I would tell him, ‘Listen, I will give you every opportunity, every resource, I’ll do whatever it takes, but you have to do your part.’ ”

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics, his mom Brandy Cole and his son Deuce TatumBRIAN BABINEAU/NBAE/GETTY

Jayson “Deuce” Christopher Tatum Jr. is the son of Jayson, and Jayson is a proud father. On December 6, 2017, the NBA player and his ex-girlfriend, Toriah Lachell, became parents to a son named Deuce. At the time, they were both 19 years old. It was just six months after he was chosen third overall in the NBA draft that he became a father to his first child.

During an interview with Today, Brandy referred to her grandson as a “blessing all the way around.” She continued by saying, “To get to see Jayson in a different light, you know, in a different capacity, and see that something that I never thought possible would bring him more joy than basketball — I think Deuce puts everything in perspective for him.”

The top player for the Boston Celtics has also said that his own childhood serves as influence for the way that he raises his son. While having a conversation with Bensinger in October 2022, he said the following: “When I was growing up, even when I was a kid, I always saw my friends with their dad and how their relationship was bigger than basketball and sports and how they were closer.”

He went on, “I’ve always said I wanted to have a kid,” which was the next thing he said. “And I was like if I ever have a son, I’m going to make sure that we are best friends because I wanted what I didn’t have, in a sense.”

Jayson Tatum with his father Justin and son DeuceJAYSON TATUM INSTAGRAM

Jayson was among the NBA stars selected for the 2023 All-Star Game, playing on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s winning team. He scored a record 55 points at the game and earned the Kobe Bryant Trophy when he was named MVP of the game, per the NBA.

Justin was present for the monumental moment, celebrating his son’s achievement on Instagram after the game. “Being able to see your kid live out their dream… Is priceless,” he wrote alongside a photo of him and Jayson holding the MVP award. “My boy @jaytatum0 is All-Star MVP.. 55 points most eve

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