The Boston Celtics will have one of the youngest teams in the league this season, as they are currently sporting seven rookies on their 17-man roster. Now, it’s time to get to know a few of them.
We’ve dug up five fun facts on four of Boston’s rookies, so brush up on your team trivia below as they prepare to make their marks in the NBA.
The Celtics selected 19-year-old Tatum out of Duke University with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Here are his five facts:
- Tatum began attending college when he was just an infant. His mother was 19 when he was born and he would regularly tag along to her undergrad, law school and business school classes.
- Tatum’s father Justin played Division I college basketball at Saint Louis University, before embarking on an international basketball career. He then became the head coach of the Christian Brothers College High School basketball team in St. Louis, which was the archrival squad of Jayson’s team at Chaminade College Preparatory School.
- Following the 2015-16 high school campaign, Tatum was named Gatorade National Player of the Year. That year, as a senior, he averaged 29.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, all while leading Chaminade to the Missouri Class 5A state championship. He joined an elite list of Gatorade NPOY winners that includes the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Alonzo Mourning and many other former and current elite NBA players.
- Prior to attending college, Tatum earned three gold medals as a member of the USA Basketball program. He then earned plenty of accolades during his lone season at Duke University, as he was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team, was on the third-team All-ACC, and was one of five finalists for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.
- At age 19, Tatum is the only teenager on the Celtics roster. Born March 3, 1998, he is Boston’s youngest player by 423 days. Ante Zizic, who was born Jan. 4, 1997, is the next-youngest Celtic.
The Celtics selected Ojeleye out of Southern Methodist University with the No. 37 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Here are his five facts:
- Ojeleye was a pupil of two of the most legendary basketball coaches of all time. He spent two seasons at Duke playing under Mike Krzyewski, before transferring to Southern Methodist University. Ojeleye had to sit out one year at SMU due to transfer rules, but still had the opportunity to learn from Larry Brown, who resigned from his head-coaching role the following summer.
- His full name is Jesusemilore Talodabijesu Ojeleye. He was born to Ernest and Joy Ojeleye, both of whom moved to the United States from Nigeria.
- Ojeleye was a standout student athlete at Ottawa High School in Ottawa, Kansas, having graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA.
- His brother Victor played four years of college basketball at Kansas State (2008-12), where he was a part of the winningest senior class in Wildcats history with 96 wins. Also a strong student-athlete, Victor became just the seventh player in program history to receive first-team academic all-conference honors three times.
- Ojeleye was named the 2017 AAC Player of the Year after averaging 19.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, all while shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from 3-point range.
The Celtics selected Allen out of the University of Arizona with the No. 53 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Here are his five facts:
- Allen is looking to become the second alumnus of Emsley A. Laney High School (Wilmington, North Carolina) to make the NBA. The other was Michael Jordan.
- Before attending the University of Arizona, Allen played for Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, where he was named 2014 National Junior College Player of the Year.
- The 6-foot-3 point guard played in the same college conference as Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, so he has had plenty of reps defending the top two picks of the 2017 Draft. The Wildcats went 2-0 against Fultz’s Washington Huskies. During their first meeting, Allen held the future No. 1 overall pick to 16 points on 8-of-23 shooting. Arizona also went 2-0 against Ball’s UCLA Bruins, including a Pac-12 Conference Tournament game during which Allen held Ball to just eight points on 2-of-7 shooting.
- Allen was a defensive stalwart at Arizona this past season, as he finished fourth in the Pac-12 in steals and earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Defensive team.
- At age 24, Allen was the oldest player selected in the 2017 Draft by 244 days. He is currently the ninth-oldest member of the Celtics out of the 17 players who are on the roster.
Theis was signed by the Celtics this summer after spending the previous seven years playing professional basketball in his home country of Germany. Here are his five facts:
- Theis received many accolades during his seven professional seasons in Germany. He was a four-time German League All-Star, a three-time German League champion, a 2017 German Cup winner, and was named the 2017 German League Best Defender.
- Theis played alongside Atlanta Hawks starting point guard Dennis Shroder from 2010-2012 when two were members of SG Braunschweig.
- Theis was an early entry candidate in the 2013 NBA Draft, but went undrafted. The next summer he joined the Washington Wizards’ Summer League squad, before returning to Germany to continue his international career.
- Theis averaged 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season with Brose Bamberg. He shot 59.8 percent from the field, 41.0 percent from 3-point range, and played an average of 19.7 minutes per contest.
- Theis played for the German national basketball team in 2014. He was previously a member of Germany’s junior national teams, as he participated in the 2011 and 2012 FIBA Europe Under-20 championships.