When five-star recruit Billy Preston signed with the Kansas Jayhawks prior to the start of the 2017-18 college basketball season, he was expected to play an integral role in the success of the team. But unfortunately Preston—a 6-foot-10 forward who was ranked 18th in the 2017 freshman class by ESPN—hasn’t played in a single regular season game yet, and it sounds like it’s starting to take a toll on both his basketball family and his real family.
Preston wasn’t allowed to play in Kansas’ first game of the regular season against Tennessee State after violating an undisclosed team rule. A short time later, Preston was also involved in a car accident on the Kansas campus that seems to have triggered an NCAA investigation. Kansas head coach Bill Self revealed that the Kansas compliance office asked the team to hold Preston out of game action until a "clearer financial picture" was available regarding the vehicle he was driving at the time of the accident, and Preston hasn’t suited up for the Jayhawks since then.
This has frustrated many Jayhawks fans and led to a lot of criticism being lobbed in Preston’s direction. It has also led Preston’s mother, Nicole Player, to respond to her son’s critics. On Tuesday night, shortly after Kansas lost a home game to Texas Tech, Player took to Twitter to express her frustrations. She said she was "sick of watching people bash my child" and told those with something to say to "be quiet."
Player also responded directly to several people who sent her messages afterward, making it clear she's not happy with the way people are talking about her son right now. She even went as far as to suggest that she could have—and maybe should have?—pulled Preston out of Kansas at the start of the season and sent him overseas to play professionally before joining the NBA.
It’s unclear when or even if Preston will take the court for Kansas. But it’s safe to say he didn’t plan on this being the thing that would define the first part of his freshman season at the school.