Duke basketball: Jayson Tatum makes Team USA history with gold medal

Former Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum at the 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Former Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum at the 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Former Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum earned another national team gold medal. 

It was not easy for former Duke basketball superstar Jayson Tatum and USA Basketball, but the Americans have returned to the states with a gold medal.

Team USA dropped two exhibition games, something unheard of for the men’s national team in recent years, as well as losing its first game of the group stage to France in an epic second-half collapse. But the Americans got their revenge, defeating the French, 87-82, in the gold medal game.

Behind Kevin Durant’s 29 points, Jayson Tatum was the second-leading scorer for Team USA in its victory with 19 points, seven rebounds, and a steal on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor and 3-of-5 from 3-point range.


Tatum was a starter for the eventual gold medal winners in all of the exhibition games but was moved to the bench to anchor the second unit prior to the Olympic opener. And the move eventually paid off for Team USA.

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In five games at the Olympics, Tatum averaged 14.4 points per game, the second-highest on the team behind Durant, and 2.6 rebounds per contest while shooting 47.0-percent from the field and 42.0-percent from beyond the arc.

Former Duke basketball forward makes history with USA Basketball

Jayson Tatum does have a history with USA Basketball in playing on many of its high school national teams, and his Olympic Gold made history with the several levels of the team.

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The former Blue Devil became the first player in the history of Team USA men’s basketball to win a gold medal with the U16 National Team, U17 National Team, U19 National Team, and the Olympic Team, according to USA Basketball.


Upon his arrival back in the United States, Tatum will have some time off before getting back in the gym to prepare for the 2020-21 NBA season as the Boston Celtics look to return to the top of the Eastern Conference.

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