Growing up, Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum had one favorite player above all, Kobe Bryant. Tatum would mimic Bryant’s moves while working on his own craft.

Now, with the Tokyo Olympics around the corner, Tatum is set to wear the No. 10 jersey for Team USA. It’s the same number Bryant wore when he played in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Tatum is wearing it to honor the late, great Lakers legend.

Via the AP News, the Celtics all-star is cherishing the opportunity to wear the same number as Bryant.

“With this being the first Olympics since we lost him, it holds that much more value,” Tatum said. “It’s not something I take lightly…I remember that first team when I was hoping, wishing, that I got No. 10,” Tatum said. “Kobe, everyone knows that was my favorite player. I was 15 years old and got to wear the number of my favorite player. It just felt like I had some level of connection with him.” – Jayson Tatum.

Tatum got to know Bryant well as he quickly developed into a star player in his own right. The two worked out together as the Celtics young star was trying to fine tune his craft. Tatum remembers one specific conversation that still sticks with him.

Are you 1000% an NBA fan?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending sports news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch newsletter.

*Sign up now and receive your own one-of-a-kind ClutchPoints photoshop with yourself and your favorite player!

“I remember one talk, it might have been after a game, and he was saying that a lot of people won’t understand what you do,” Tatum said. “He said, ‘What I mean by that is, the ones that really want to be great and really want to be special really take that whatever-it-takes mentality.’ He told me it takes sacrifice, because the ultimate question is about how much are you willing to give up to be great.”

Now, Tatum is set to represent the Celtics and Team USA at the Olympics. But what’s most important to him, is honoring the legacy of Kobe Bryant by wearing that same No. 10.