Elite prospect G.G. Jackson announced his commitment to South Carolina on Saturday, simultaneously confirming that he planned to reclassify into the 2022 class and suit up for the Gamecocks this upcoming men’s basketball season.
Jackson’s decision comes nine days after he decommitted from North Carolina; he now becomes the first player in the modern recruiting era to decommit from the Tar Heels and go elsewhere for college. J.R. Smith committed to Carolina in 2003, but he went to the NBA straight out of high school.
South Carolina had been in the driver’s seat for the 6-foot-9 in-state prospect during the winter, before the Gamecocks fired Frank Martin and replaced him with Lamont Paris. Paris tried to land Jackson after taking over, but Jackson committed to North Carolina in late April. When Jackson chose the Tar Heels, he also made it clear he planned to stay in the 2023 class and not reclassify.
I will like to announce that I will be reclassifying to the class of 2022, committing to the University of South Carolina to further my career and education. NOW LETS HAVE FUN FAMS!🤙🏾🐔 #HometownHero
— Gregory “GG” Jackson (@_ggjackson) July 23, 2022
“We were looking at it at first,” Jackson told ESPN in April. “But weighing over my options and looking at the different people that reclassed up, seeing how it affected them. I feel like, physically, I’m not there yet to play at that college level, so I wanted to stay in my class and just prepare the best that I can.”
Over the past month, however, there had been continued speculation about Jackson flipping from North Carolina to South Carolina and playing for the Gamecocks during the 2022-23 season. With Jackson playing his final summer AAU game with the CP3 All-Stars on Friday night, he decided to confirm the rumors on Saturday.
A product of Ridge View High School in Columbia, South Carolina, Jackson is ranked No. 6 in the ESPN 100 for 2023. He averaged 12.9 points and 9.8 rebounds on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and summer, and he put up 13.1 points and 10.2 rebounds in 20 games on the circuit this season. During his junior high school season, he averaged 22.1 points and 10.9 rebounds, earning Gatorade Player of the Year honors in South Carolina. Jackson was also named MVP of the prestigious NBPA Top 100 Camp last month after averaging 14.0 points and 9.2 rebounds.
“Jackson has made steady progress over his career and has recently been playing at a pretty high level. At the NBPA camp he was terrific and tough,” said ESPN’s national recruiting director, Paul Biancardi. “He brings versatility and potential to South Carolina. His scoring touch inside the arc, with footwork, has been impressive. His finishing ability in transition and ball-screen defense with switchable foot speed and length to stay in front of the ball will be an asset. When engaged, his rebounding is impressive.
“For Jackson to make the next jump, he needs to develop strong practice habits and work on his consistency. He also needs to improve his individual defense and shooting range while still producing.”
Jackson joins Zachary Davis and Daniel Hankins-Sanford in South Carolina’s 2022 class, although Paris also landed five transfers in the spring.