Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics just had a fantastic season come to an end at the hands of the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. Their run to the NBA Finals sparked interest from their in-state neighbors at the New England Patriots. One of those Patriots who was showing his fandom was rookie defensive tackle Sam Roberts.
Just like Tatum, the Patriots might have a young star in the making in Roberts.
On first glance, other than being employed by Boston-area teams, both Tatum and Roberts have nothing in common. Except for their backgrounds, where these two young athletes’ paths may have crossed.
Roberts, who was born and raised in Missouri, has always been a diehard Boston fan. Whether it was supporting the Patriots during their multiple Super Bowl runs or the Red Sox during their World Series a few years back, Roberts was always expressing his love for Massachusetts sports online.
Take Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals for example. Roberts found himself courtside of the Celtics game, as they hosted the visiting Miami Heat. Throughout the game, Roberts would post pictures and videos of him cheering and screaming for joy during every highlight.
The rookie even took a photo of Tatum with the caption, “Fun Fact I locked him Up in High School.”
Now, this may have been playful banter from the Patriots defender, but when looking back at Roberts’ high school basketball career in Missouri, he may have actually “locked up” the First Team All-NBA player.
Tatum, who graduated in 2016 from Chaminade High School in St. Louis, played in District 6 of the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), whereas Roberts played in District 10. Roberts also graduated in 2016 from Waynesville High School, making the state tournament just two years prior.
While Waynesville never won a state championship, Chaminade, led by Tatum, won the Class 5 state championship. That season, Roberts, who was a forward and center for the Tigers, lost in the first round of that same tournament.
Although Roberts’ basketball career ended after his senior year, he still found his groove in football. The Patriots used the 200th overall pick in the NFL Draft to take the former Northwest Missouri State product.