Celebrity Parents Jayson Tatum Says World Needs More Role Models of Fathers Being 'Present': 'Show You Can Do Both' Jayson Tatum welcomed son Deuce on Dec. 6, 2017, just six months after he was drafted by the Boston Celtics By Georgia Slater Georgia Slater Twitter Georgia Slater is a writer/reporter on the Parents team at PEOPLE. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 8, 2022 01:25 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Jayson Tatum is opening up about his sweet relationship with 4-year-old son Deuce. The NBA star, who welcomed Deuce in December 2017 just six months after he was drafted by the Boston Celtics, spoke about being a role model as a dad and close bond with his son in a press conference on Tuesday. "I think 2017 when I got drafted, I didn't have Deuce, but he was born in 2017 so that was big, that was the biggest year of my life, right? Starting this new chapter in my career, I just had a child," Tatum explained. "My mindset was not to sacrifice either, that I was going to be the best father as I could as well as the best basketball player. There was no guideline or there was no exact way to do it. It was all about what was natural." "I just do what's natural. I'm around him every day. I think being able to go through this journey together, because I was 19 when I got drafted, it's kind of like we're growing up together," he continues. "As he's gotten older, I'm going through my career, sharing these moments, experiencing this together as we grow up. I think it's the coolest part for me." The athlete says is also aware of his platform as a professional athlete and thinks it's "great" if he's a role model to other young fathers across the globe. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald/Getty Jayson Tatum's Son Skips Through Boston Celtics Locker Room: 'Nothing Cooler Than This Dad' Stuff "I think we need more role models like that. Just to have more male fathers be present and things like that, show that you can do both, regardless of whenever you work, whatever your profession is," he says. Tatum was 19 when he welcomed his son Deuce, who has since become a big hit with the Celtics and with players across the NBA. Speaking with reporters during the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend in February, Tatum said he wasn't expecting his son to be so popular. "It's cool and he enjoys it," he explained in a clip shared on Twitter by The Boston Globe. "Every time he comes to a home game, people cheer when they see him. They scream his name when he comes to games on the road and here at All-Star [Weekend]. He has his own personality." He later added, "On the court [I want Deuce to remember me as] ... a competitor, somebody that just always wanted to win. Every time he comes to the game, he sees how I give it my all, I'm doing everything I can in my power to help us win. Because as he gets older, team, sports, that's what's most important is winning and everything else besides that will follow."