Jackson II Declares for 2023 NBA Draft
South Carolina Athletics
Local product averaged 15.4 points per game this season, fifth-most in the country by a freshman
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Standout freshman Gregory “GG” Jackson II announced he will forgo his remaining college eligibility after declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft on Friday morning.
“I want to thank God and my family for always being there for me,” said Jackson. “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.”
“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.”
In his one season as a Gamecock, Jackson earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team after averaging 15.4 points (9th in SEC) and 5.9 rebounds per game (13th in SEC). His scoring average was the fifth-most in the nation by a freshman. He led the team in scoring 17 times, scoring in double-figures a team-best 25 times in 32 games played. His 11, 20-point games were the most by a Gamecock freshman since South Carolina joined the SEC in 1991-92. Jackson had a team-high three double-doubles this season. The Columbia, S.C., native posted a career-high 30 points vs. No. 16/17 Auburn (Jan. 21). After missing his first eight shots, he finished the game 10-of-13 (76.9 percent). It was the first 30-point game by a Gamecock freshman since Bruce Ellington, who had 31 points on Dec. 22, 2010 at Furman. Jackson was named CBS Sports/USBWA National Freshman of the Week after scoring 24 points and pulling down nine rebounds in a win over Eastern Michigan (Dec. 30). He pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds in a win over WKU (Dec. 22). It was the most rebounds in a game by a Gamecock since Chris Silva had 17 boards on March 5, 2019 in a victory at Texas A&M.
The consensus top player in the 2023 class, Jackson reclassified in late July to become a part of the 2022 class. A five-star prospect, he ranked No. 6 in the final 247Sports and No. 7 in the final On3 player rankings for the 2022 class. Jackson became the highest ranked incoming freshman in program history and joined former Gamecock standout PJ Dozier as the only five-star signees all-time at South Carolina (recruit rankings started in early 2000s).
The Gamecocks have had 38 all-time NBA Draft picks, the last being All-American Sindarius Thornwell who was taken with the 48th overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks (draft rights were traded to the LA Clippers). Renaldo Balkman was Carolina’s last first round pick. He was selected 20th overall by the New York Knicks in 2006.