How a former Detroit Pistons blogger — Ohio’s Jason Preston — became March Madness star

Who is Jason Preston? He’s the previous Piston Powered blog writer, obviously, and a huge Detroit Pistons fan.

He’s likewise the Ohio Bobcats standout point player and an NBA possibility, and an essential factor the Mid-American Conference competition champ 13-seed Ohio is a popular upset choice Saturday night versus 4-seed Virginia at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana (7:15 p.m., TruTV).

“They are going to be writing a movie on his life,” Ohio coach Jeff Boals informed Yahoo Sports just recently. “This is the American dream.”

If you do not understand his story, here’s the cliff keeps in mind variation:

He matured a Pistons fan in Orlando in the 2000s, thanks to his mom, rooting for the Chauncey Billups-led Goin’ to Work team — likewise referred to as the last Pistons group to win a championship game (2008).

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Ohio guard Jason Preston, right, hugs forward Dwight Wilson III in celebration after the Bobcats beat the Buffalo Bulls to win the MAC championship at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, March 13, 2021.

Ohio guard Jason Preston, right, hugs forward Dwight Wilson III in event after the Bobcats beat the Buffalo Bulls to win the MAC champion at Rocket Home loan FieldHouse in Cleveland, March 13, 2021.

Preston and his mommy, Judith, were extremely close. When she passed away of lung cancer, he was simply 16 years of ages, and the soft-spoken child withdrew. He attempted to cope with the injury by his love for basketball, however as a 6-foot, 140-pound senior guard, balanced 2 points per video game for competitive Boone High School in Orlando. He scored 52 points that season.

Without any college buzz, Preston — nicknamed “Big Red” for his puffy red hair — saw the proverbial writing on the wall. Advantage he was prepared and understood what he wished to do.

Throughout his junior year, as soon as he turned 17 in August of 2016, FanSided network Piston Powered permitted him to sign up with the website as an author, where he composed for about 6 months on breaking news, analysis and video game protection (you can have a look at his author page, though if you’ll be set off by memories of Stanley Johnson, it may be best to prevent).

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He wished to remain the video game, and registered at Central Florida to end up being a sportswriter.

He signed up with an AAU competition eleventh hour and got observed.

“Everyone was playing 40 minutes a game,” Preston informed ESPN this winter season. “It was more of an opportunity. I didn’t have a chance in high school, I was more of a shooter. I played on the ball a lot (in the AAU tournaments).”

He chose to put college on hold and go to Believe Preparatory Academy in Tennessee, which had 5 various groups. Preston, now 6 feet 4, made more run as the season advanced and acquired a little interest from schools, taking a school check out to Maryland-Eastern Coast. However he didn’t have any emphasize movie.

So late in the season, during an eight-hour bus ride, Preston asked coaches for all their movie, screen-recorded his own clips and sent it to a buddy to develop the mix.

The highlights went to Twitter and was observed by Bo Ryan’s child, Will, an assistant at Ohio.

His story went viral nationally in November, when he led Ohio to a near roadway upset of then-No. 8 Illinois, losing 77-75. Preston gathered 31 points (13-for-23 shooting), 6 rebounds, 8 helps and no turnovers versus the Illini and star guard Ayo Dosunmu.

Jason Preston had 31 points, eight assists and 0 turnovers in a 77-75 loss against Ayo Dosunmu, left, and then-No. 8 Illinois on Nov. 27, 2020 in Champaign, Illinois.

Jason Preston had 31 points, 8 helps and 0 turnovers in a 77-75 loss versus Ayo Dosunmu, left, and then-No. 8 Illinois on Nov. 27, 2020 in Champaign, Illinois.

For the season, he’s balancing 16.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 7.2 helps, and has actually been called “poor man’s LaMelo Ball,” by an NBA scout, since of his size and playmaking capability — and cool hair to boot. He’s a competitor to be prepared in the 2nd round if he states for the draft, however a huge NCAA competition might assist his stock.

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He led Ohio to 3 blowout wins in the MAC competition recently in Cleveland, balancing 22.7 points, and setting the phase for a possible run in the NCAA competition, where scouts and fans alike will be enjoying.

Now, the previous Pistons blog writer can assist his group end up being the 3rd straight Ohio Bobcats team to win a minimum of one round in the NCAA competition (2012, beat Michigan and South Florida; 2010, shocked Georgetown).

Who understands … possibly he’ll even end up being a Piston down the roadway.

This post initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: How Jason Preston went from Detroit Pistons blog site to March Insanity star

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.