The Jordan press guide lists his best quality as being nice. Fans, players and coaches alike are in consensus agreement that he is a great kid.
By all accounts, Preston Richards impresses everyone he meets. Teammate, Evan Mero said, "He is an easy going, laid back kid, but he is the fastest kid I have ever seen off the dribble."
Therein lies the rub. Basketball recruiters have not yet beat a path to his door to discover how "nice" he is on the basketball court. OK, perhaps that term doesn't translate to what recruiters are looking for but what the basketball gurus do require in a prospect, Richards possesses in spades. To begin, he is very gifted athletically. His coach, Rob Geersten said, "He is so athletic, during one game a ref came over and asked me, 'Who is No. 24?'
"We rely on him for a lot of things. He leads our team in assists, scoring, rebounds and steals.
"His major asset is quickness."
Richards admits he has skills.
"I can get past guys and finish," he said.
He also described how once he beats a defensive player and others converge to stop him, he can get up in the air and get around defenders and finish.
Few players possess the ability including his father, Doug, who was an All-American at BYU back in the 1970s. He has more hops than his father ever did, and the senior Richards readily admits that. Father and son go to the gym almost every night after work and after school where Doug coaches his son and rebounds shots as Preston practices on his outside jumpers. And in that category, he confesses his father can still outshoot him.
"I need to get both parts of my game working," he said, referring to his 3-point shot. "I did make four 3s in a recent game."
He carries a 16 points per-game average and often sees double teams from opposing schools. He is hoping Jordan will make the playoffs where he will have an opportunity to display his skills. If not, he may opt to play golf where he excels also on the Beetdigger golf team. In the Jordan press guide, he also says the place he wants most to visit is South Carolina because it has a high number of golf courses that he would like to play.
For now he continues to work on basketball.
He says about his Dad, "He has been my coach my whole life. He will give me a walk through before every game."
He has total family support. His mother critiques him after every game and older brother Jason makes sure he is at every game. He credits his mother for keeping his attitude in check. He said a few years ago he used to get a lot of technicals.He said, "She taught me how to better my attitude."
E-mail: [email protected]