Athletes by Ian Romaker July 28, 2021
Throughout last season, the story that swept college hoops nation revolved around Ohio University guard Jason Preston. His story is one of determination and always chasing your loftiest dreams. Journalistic aspirations slowly turned to college basketball and NBA realities, and now Preston can find himself on the NBA’s draft board.
After his mother passed away from lung cancer five years ago, Preston’s aunt became his legal guardian due to his father’s absence. Since she lived in Jamaica, Jason began to stay with his mother’s best friend’s son and put in countless hours in the gym.
At Boone High School (Orlando, FL) Preston averaged only 2.2 points per game. At 6 feet, 140 pounds, his chance of playing organized basketball at the collegiate level was slim to none. As a matter of fact, Jason began to attend college at UCF for journalism purposes only.
Jason Preston figured he could pursue his journalistic aspirations as he familiarized himself within online circles and heavily favored Detroit Pistons basketball. His mother had a major influence on the Pistons immersion as her favorite team was the 2004 Championship team with Chauncey Billups.
This development proved extremely interesting as many entertainers, athletes, and those who cover sports often find a way to merge their playing and media work. While many artists want to be ballplayers and several athletes want to become artists, where does the journalist fit in?
Well, in this scenario, it looks like they nearly all found a place to intertwine! Preston handles himself like a professional and his avant-garde nature on the court proves that he is certainly an artiste of many sorts.
While at UCF, Preston met someone who invited him to an AAU tournament and at that tournament, after a late growth spurt, he clocked in at 6 feet, 4 inches. Following a strong outing, he received an invite from another individual to hoop at Believe Prep Academy in South Carolina.
In prep school, teams are ranked from A-D and Preston landed on the C Team which is essentially rec league talent. After dropping a triple-double, Jason went on to create his own highlight reel and post it on Twitter.
From there, Ohio University Men’s Basketball discovered his talent and made him a scholarship offer.
Luckily, OU bulked him up by thirty pounds and together they improved his vertical jump as well. He shot 40 percent from 3 point range in the 2020 season, averaged 16.8 PPG with 6.4 RPG and 7.4 APG.
In early 2020, Preston racked up 31 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds against the number 8 team in the nation, Illinois. Unfortunately, the outcome did not play out in the Bobcats’ favor as Ayo Dosunmu and Illinois scraped out a tough victory at home in Champagne, IL, 77-75.
After stringing together two consistently productive seasons, Jason Preston is certain to receive a draft selection into the NBA on July 29th. He will look up at the NBA draft board and hear his name called, a validation of the hard work he has put in across years and different challenges.
This would make him only the fourth player in this century from the MAC Tournament to do so.
After defeating formidable opponent Virginia in the first round of March Madness, Preston and Ohio went on to beat Creighton as well to earn a Sweet 16 bid.
It is clear that Jason can slow the game down to his pace and that he moves with a very old-school type of rhythm. His high IQ, playmaking vision, and meticulous play-running make him an extremely intriguing prospect.
During his Chicago Draft Combine, Preston impressed scouts and proved his ability to adjust in accordance to a faster pace. He signed with Drew Gross, an agent for Roc Nation sports, and is currently ranked 41st out of 100 on ESPN’s Top 100 prospect list.
The NBA draft board shines brightly down on this smart and brave young talent.
Jason Preston’s old-school post-game, slender frame, crucial ball fakes/pump fakes, and pocket passes ensure his roster spot on any NBA team. He recently worked out with the Lakers who hold the 22nd pick.
It is clear that Preston’s game will translate well into the professional arena and this man has the potential to reach a high trajectory slope early on in his career. We wish him the best of luck.