boys basketball

Oak Hill's Billy Preston even more focused after receiving McDonald's All American jersey

Billy Preston Photo: McDonalds

Billy Preston (Photo: McDonald’s All American Game)

Make no mistake about it, Billy Preston transferred to Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) first and foremost to help the Warriors repeat as DICK’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals champions; but the 6-foot-10 forward knew that playing for the high profile team wouldn’t hurt his chances of fulfilling his personal goal of suiting up in the McDonald’s All American Game either.

“I knew I was already in running to make the game,” said Preston, a Kansas signee. “But I knew playing well at Oak Hill would give me a little bit of an edge. I can’t tell you how it feels to be picked for this game.”

On Thursday the McDonald’s All American Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance stopped by his school and presented Preston his game jersey for the McDonald’s All American Game, which tips March 29 at the United Center in Chicago.

“It feels great to have the jersey and everything,” Preston said. “Feels even more official. It definitely makes me even hungrier to go out and win this national title now.”

That edge will come in handy when the No. 8 Warriors face one of their toughest tests of the season Saturday in No. 5 Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.) at the Nike Extravaganza.

Billy Preston presented his godmother, Timicha Kirby, with the Dream Champion Award. (Photo: McDAAG)

Billy Preston presented his godmother, Timicha Kirby, with the Dream Champion Award. (Photo: McDAAG)

“It will definitely be a competitive game,” Preston said. “They like to play fast-paced and they score a lot of points so we’ll have to play a strong defensive game. We’ll make the adjustments.”

Preston was adamant that the Warriors “have learned a lot” from their three losses this season, all of which have come to teams ranked in the Super 25’s top 10.

“The biggest lesson we learned was that we have to stay together and listen to what coach says,” Preston said. “Our chemistry has to be strong; that’s our biggest issue, just keeping our chemistry together consistently. I don’t feel like it’s ever been an issue of talent. We just have to bond and click on the court. Once we figure out how to do that every time we hit the floor we’ll be fine.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY