University of Kansas

Former KU forward Billy Preston leaves pro team in Bosnia because of injury

Billy Preston got to see some games when he was at KU, but he never saw any action in a regular-season game. He has been playing for BC Igokea of the Adriatic League.
Billy Preston got to see some games when he was at KU, but he never saw any action in a regular-season game. He has been playing for BC Igokea of the Adriatic League. jsleezer@kcstar.com

Former Kansas basketball forward Billy Preston has left BC Igokea of the Adriatic League after three games, the Bosnian pro team announced on its website.

Preston, who joined the squad in late January as he continued to wait for his amateur status to be cleared by the NCAA, has been experiencing shoulder pain and has decided to return to the U.S. to have the shoulder evaluated. Preston will “not likely” return to Bosnia, his mom, Nicole Player, told ESPN.com.

Preston, a 6-10 forward out of Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., who is originally from Los Angeles, scored a total of 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in three games for BC Igokea.

“Our player Billy Preston has been experiencing consistent discomfort in his left shoulder for the past two weeks. He is going to return to the U.S. to consult with a physician and physical therapist,” BC Igokea general manager Igor Dodik said in a statement on the team’s official website. “We have such a short season left we don’t want to put him in jeopardy so we support what is best for him to get the best treatment as soon as possible”.

Preston’s mom told ESPN.com’s Jonathan Givony: “We went to a doctor there, but we didn't get much of a diagnosis or plans for treatment ... so I asked some folks for advice and they said he needs to be seen in the U.S. So here we are. Praying it's nothing serious. If not, he will just continue to work out and prepare for the draft process. They only have two more games left in ABA league and four in the Bosnian League. I don't see the point (in returning), but who knows."

Preston, a McDonald's All-American who was ranked No. 11 in the recruiting class of 2017, represented KU in exhibition games in Italy last summer and during three preseason contests prior to the start of the 2017-18 campaign.

Preston, however, never participated in a regular-season game. He was held out of the opener against Tennessee State as penalty for missing curfew and a class, and missed the next 18 contests as KU compliance and the NCAA looked into the financial picture surrounding a car he had been driving in Lawrence during the school year.

Preston told The Star on Jan. 21 his plan is to definitely enter the 2018 NBA Draft. He will be hoping to receive an invitation to the 2018 NBA combine for draft prospects, which will be held May 16-20 in Chicago.

KU basketball coach Bill Self talked Saturday night, Jan. 20, after KU beat Baylor, about Billy Preston leaving the team to play professionally in Bosnia.

Rush’s 10-day contract runs out

Former KU guard Brandon Rush, whose 10-day contract with the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers recently expired, will not be signed to a second 10-day contract with the team as reported by NBCSNorthwest.com.

The 6-foot-6 Rush, 32, did not appear in a game during his short stint with the Trail Blazers.

Rush was cut by the Milwaukee Bucks during the preseason after playing in 47 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. He’s also played for Indiana, Golden State and Utah in a 10-year career.



 

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