Professional Basketball Player Jason Preston Joins American Lung Association Ambassador Council to Honor Mother

During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Preston honors the memory of his mother who died from lung cancer

Professional basketball player Jason Preston was first introduced to the sport by his mother, Judith Sewell, with whom he shared his love for the game. When Preston was just 16-years-old, his mother passed away from lung cancer. Today, the American Lung Association announced that Preston has joined its elite Ambassador Council to honor the memory of his mother and raise awareness for lung cancer and the dangers of secondhand smoke.

During November for Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Preston partnered with his alma mater, Ohio University, to raise awareness for lung cancer and early detection of the disease. During Ohio University's Men Basketball home opener on November 8th, the team wore warm-up shirts dedicated to Lung Cancer Awareness. These shirts featured the white ribbon with his mother's name, and Preston provided the entire basketball program with white shoes to wear throughout the month of November. Before the game, the team also played the Lung Association and Ad Council’s “Hope Story” public service announcement, alongside a personal PSA produced by Ohio University athletes and staff, aiming to increase awareness about lung cancer screening and prevention.

"I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to make an impact, and to shine a light on the importance of understanding and tackling lung cancer. Growing up, I didn't have much knowledge about it, so having the chance to help educate others is truly a blessing. A major thank you to the incredible Ohio University, the American Lung Association, my agent Erika Ruiz, and my fiancé Micaylah for their support in making this impactful initiative a reality,” said Preston.

Although he averaged only two points per game in high school, Jason persevered and transformed himself into an NBA draft pick in 2021, ultimately selected as the 33rd overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers. His path was shaped by a combination of confidence and opportunity, starting with limited playing time in high school, progressing to prep school, and ultimately receiving an offer from Ohio University. His determination and hard work culminated in a standout college career at Ohio University, where he achieved the honor of MAC tournament MVP in 2021 and led the Bobcats to March Madness for the first time in nearly a decade. Jason Preston made history by becoming the first player from Ohio University in 18 years to be drafted into the NBA.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., so we all need to come together to end the devastation of this disease. But there is hope. The lung cancer five-year survival rate increased to 26.6% nationally thanks to innovative research, early detection and new treatments,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “We are honored to have Jason Preston on our team to help us in our efforts to raise awareness of lung cancer, including prevention and early detection.”

The American Lung Association Ambassador Council is a group of public figures, including actors, professional athletes and other high-profile volunteers, who use the power of storytelling and public outreach to elevate the Lung Association's vision of a world without lung disease. Preston joins the elite group of high-profile volunteers, including Shantel VanSanten, Steve Kornacki and Tony Gwynn Jr.

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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