Jayson Tatum, Matthew Tkachuk among high school classmates enjoying pro success

Updated: May 23, 2023

May 23, 2023, 09:01 AM ET

It is a pretty great time for supporters of Chaminade Prep. The small Catholic school in St. Louis just held its graduation for the Class of 2023, and two of its distinguished alumni are enjoying a lot of success in their professional lives.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk were classmates at Chaminade. They even made a video together about why they came to the school.

While that duo of former Red Devils are having their moments, taking their teams to the conference finals in the NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs, they’re not the only former high school classmates having pro success.

Matthew Tkachuk (Florida Panthers), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

Chaminade Prep (St. Louis, Missouri)

Prep achievements: Tatum averaged nearly 30 points per game in his senior season at Chaminade and won a state championship while being named the 2016 Gatorade National Player of the Year.

Tkachuk left Chaminade after ninth grade to play for the U.S. National Development Team.

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Since then: Tkachuk is in his seventh season in the NHL. He has scored 40 goals in consecutive seasons. After an offseason trade from the Calgary Flames, Tkachuk has the Panthers one win from their first Stanley Cup Final since 1996.

Tatum, in his sixth pro season, averaged 30.1 points per game this season. He led the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season and has been to the Eastern Conference finals four times.

Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tennessee)

Prep achievements: Ramsey played football and ran track at Brentwood. He set the Tennessee state record for long jump while in high school.

Garland started playing varsity hoops in eighth grade and won four state championships while averaging 27.6 points as a senior.

Let me get 5 points! And I don’t think another HS has done that🤷🏾‍♂️ https://t.co/1wnjU3J9Fo

— Darius Garland (@dariusgarland22) May 16, 2023

Since then: Both Garland and Ramsey were first-round picks. This season, Garland led the Cavaliers in assists while scoring 21.6 points per game.

Ramsey won a BCS national championship at Florida State and a Super Bowl with the Rams. He has been named All-Pro three times.

Clayton Kershaw and Matt Stafford as kids Marianne Kershaw

Highland Park High (University Park, Texas)

Prep achievements: The pair played football together at Highland Park. Stafford was one of the top high school players his senior season and won a state championship in 2005.

Kershaw had a perfect record his senior season, striking out 139 batters. In one outing, which ended in run-rule, Kershaw had an all-strikeout perfect game.

Since then: Both went in the first round of their respectives drafts and became champions in L.A. Stafford has had nine 4,000-yard seasons and has thrown 333 TDs in his career. He threw for 283 yards and three scores in the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kershaw is regarded as one of the greatest pitchers of his era. He has won three Cy Young Awards, one NL MVP and the 2020 World Series. Kershaw trails only Justin Verlander for most strikeouts in postseason history.

La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla, California)

Prep achievements: Plum scored over 2,000 points in her high school career to go along with over 600 rebounds. She also won a state championship.

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Edman set school records for hits, runs, doubles and stolen bases. He had 91 stolen bases in four varsity seasons.

Since then: Plum was the first overall pick in the 2017 WNBA draft. Averaging 17.1 points per game in the 2022 WNBA playoffs, Plum was a big part of the Aces’ run to the WNBA title.

After playing college baseball at Stanford, Edman has been in the Major Leagues since 2019. With the Cardinals, he has proven to be a star utility player, getting starts at second and third base as well as shortstop while hitting .271 for his career.

Norcross (Norcross, Georgia)

Prep achievements: Carter had 132 tackles and six sacks in his senior year and led Norcross to a Georgia state championship.

DeShields won her own titles at Norcross. She won three state titles and averaged 26 points a game as a senior.

Since then: DeShields was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA draft and has played for the Chicago Sky, Phoenix Mercury and is in her first season with the Wings. She was a key bench player for the Sky’s 2021 title team.

Carter was a third-round pick by the New York Giants in 2018. He missed most of the 2020 season with an Achilles injury but has 18.5 career sacks so far.

Kyler Murray threw for 4,713 yards and 54 touchdowns during his senior year of high school. AP Photo/LM Otero

Allen (Allen, Texas)

Prep achievements: Murray might be the best quarterback in the history of Texas high school football. At Allen, he won 43 games in a row, three consecutive state titles, and never lost a game in high school. He accounted for 186 total touchdowns in his prep career.

Nickal was no slouch during his time at Allen. He won three state championships at three different weight classes. He lost just seven matches while at Allen.

Since then: As a collegiate wrestler at Penn State, Nickal won three national titles. He won a UFC contract after wins in Dana White’s Contender Series. In his young pro career, he has won all four of his fights.

In 2018, Murray won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma and was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2019 NFL draft. He won NFL Rookie of the Year in 2019 and led the Cardinals to the playoffs in 2021.

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