The masterful comeback Jayson Tatum orchestrated against the 76ers in the fourth quarter Thursday kept the Celtics' season alive for Game 7 on Mother's Day. His own mother couldn't be prouder.
Brandy Cole chatted with NBC10 Boston Friday, sharing a glimpse into the NBA star's success.
"I was a volleyball star, I was class president, I was top 5% of my class, like, I had scholarships to everywhere, I had all these hopes and dreams," Cole said. "But I can honestly say the moment that they handed him to me, I was like, nothing else mattered. And the only thing I wanted to be the very best at was being a mom."
At 19, Cole gave birth to Tatum, juggling parenthood and her education.
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"I had professors telling me I should just quit," she said.
But she taught her son perseverance, earning four degrees, including an MBA, and graduating from law school.
She nurtured Tatum's NBA dreams while he was still a toddler.
"I took him to the YMCA, and they didn't ask, so I didn't tell," Cole said. "He was bigger than all the other kids, and they were 5. And it was funny because even then, I knew he was gifted — I mean, he was 3 and a half, and he was still the best player on the team."
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She recalled how Tatum being drafted by the Celtics in 2017 brought her to tears.
"As soon as they called his name, he hugged me, and he whispered some things in my ear," she recalled. "He had worked so hard, and it was something that he had wanted for so long … That was a special moment."
That same year, Tatum became a father to Deuce, who is now 5.
"He spends most of his off time, when he can, with Deuce," Cole said. "They go bike riding, Deuce got a big boy bike yesterday."
Cole also talked a little bit about what Tatum is like in his private life.
"Very laid back and quiet and calm, but he's also very funny, and that's the one thing people don't know," she said. "You got to have tough skin, cause he's quick-witted, and he might say something that, you know, you'll be like — it'll take you back a little bit."