The South Carolina men’s basketball program received a blow on Friday, as Gregory “GG” Jackson II officially decided on his playing future. Jackson, who had an impressive freshman season with the Gamecocks, earning a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team, announced that he would be forgoing his remaining college eligibility and entering the 2023 NBA Draft.
“I want to thank God and my family for always being there for me,” Jackson said in a statement released by South Carolina athletics. “I also want to thank coach Paris and the rest of the staff at South Carolina for giving me the opportunity to live my dream playing in my home city and state. To Gamecock Nation, the best fans in the country, thank you for your unwavering support. I am a Gamecock for life. The next step in my journey is here, and I will be declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft.”
Go be 𝑮𝑮reat, 2️⃣-3️⃣. 🤙#Gamecocks🐔🏀 // #ForeverToThee pic.twitter.com/RsETydfJVi
— Gamecock Men's Basketball (@GamecockMBB) March 24, 2023
“This is a very exciting day for GG and his family as they begin preparing for the next chapter in his career,” said head coach Lamont Paris. “I, too, am incredibly excited for GG and all that lies ahead for him. GG is and will always be a Gamecock, and I could not be more supportive of his decision to declare for the NBA Draft.”
Jackson led South Carolina with 15.4 points per game this season, which was the fifth-most in the country by a freshman. He scored in double-figures in 25 of 32 games played while accumulating 5.9 rebounds/per game. He was originally committed to North Carolina as the top player in the 2023 recruiting class but later flipped his commitment to South Carolina and reclassified to 2022.
Jackson is expected to be a first-round pick in June’s NBA Draft.