On Wednesday, Ohio University guard Jason Preston announced that he was staying in the 2021 NBA Draft. Earlier that day, Preston was part of a group that worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo.
The 22-year-old said that the workout went well and that he was able to show his abilities as a playmaker in the group setting, but he said the thing he hoped shined through in his workout was his hunger to win.
“I’m a winner,” Preston said on . “Whenever I’m going to go, we’re going to win. That’s all I’m about. I’m not about the individual numbers or scoring this amount of points; my goal is to win the basketball game. I feel like every team can look for a winner, a leader and a guy that’s going to get others involved. It’s going to be fun to play with a player like that.”
Preston didn’t win much with the Bobcats in his first two seasons at Ohio University, but in 2021, he helped them upset the Virginia Cavaliers 62-58 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It was their first NCAA Tournament appearance and win since 2013. Preston scored 11 points on 4-7 shooting from the field.
Preston also played a big role in the Bobcats’ first Mid-American Conference (MAC) men’s basketball tournament championship since 2012. He made the All-Tournament team and was named the Tournament MVP. In conference play, he averaged 12.8 points, 8 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
Preston obviously won’t be expected to come in and be that play for the Lakers if he’s drafted by them on July 29, but his mindset of winning and being selfless certainly fits the ethos that the organization has been trying to build over the last several years. So while he may not be as highly-ranked as some of his peers, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he gets serious consideration when the Lakers are on the clock with the No. 22 pick.