Jason Preston all smiles with Summer League ahead

Jason Preston, LA Clippers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Jason Preston, LA Clippers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Jason Preston could only smile as his name was called during the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft. After years of working endlessly on his craft, his big league dreams had officially come true.

While just 21 years of age, and regardless of the LA Clippers housing a long list of veteran and talented point guards, Preston believed that his overall talent and playmaking ability would leave coach Ty Lue with no choice but to hand him his fair share of minutes in the rotation.

Ultimately, however, Preston was left heartbroken as a foot injury derailed his rookie season. Although he was unable to play a single minute during the 2021-22 league year, Preston took his rehabilitation in stride, soaking up as much knowledge from the veterans around him.

Preston carefully followed the orders of his doctors, while continuing to make small improvements in his health. The results, while painstakingly long, have allowed Preston to return to the court pain-free.

As the Clippers’ season came to an end following 42 victories and an unexpected loss in the play-in round, Preston received good news, officially being cleared to return without any restrictions.

For the 22-year-old Preston, stepping onto the court and competing against his teammates was a euphoric feeling. The sound of the basketball as he bounced it against the hardwood floor, the squeaking of his sneakers as he made a fancy dribble move to get past his man, and of course, the feel of the basketball leaving his fingertips when he released it for a jumper, it all felt incredible to the baby-faced guard.

Currently, with LA’s regular season still months away, Preston envisions the moment in which coach Ty Lue calls him to check into a ball game for the very first time.

“It was awesome,” said Preston during a recent interview. “Just being able to grab a rebound, throw a pass, hit somebody on the cut, shoot a floater, do that in live settings, because a lot of the stuff I just do is in the half-court and one-on-one stuff, so it was amazing. I’m really excited for this second go-round.”

Jason Preston begins his comeback trail in the Summer League

Unwilling to wait idly by any longer, Preston will officially get a taste of NBA action in just a few short days during the LA Clippers Summer League. With July 9th, circled on Preston’s calendar, the well-rounded guard is extremely familiar with hooping in that setting.

Before suffering what turned out to be a season-ending injury last year, Preston dominated the competition in the summer classic. Officially, Preston racked up 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 8.2 assists in five games, while playing just 23.6 minutes a night.

With no time to waste and anxious to prove that LA’s consistent desire to add more point guards to their roster was an extraneous move, Preston has been spotted working on his game tirelessly. His propensity for pushing himself to the limit has not only caught the attention of LA staffers, but also his teammates.

Ultimately, Preston’s work ethic has left an unambiguous impact and impression on everyone he has come in close contact with.

“Just how he works,” said Brandon Boston Jr., LA’s second-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. “He is in here, the first one in here, almost the last one to leave. That is all I can ask from a player — somebody who is disciplined and willing to work.”

Next. Paul George enjoys his 4th of July from the gym. dark