Former North Carolina Tar Heels basketball commitant GG Jackson is drafted into the class of 2022 and commits to the South Carolina Gamecocks

Former North Carolina Tar Heels basketball commitant GG Jackson is drafted into the class of 2022 and commits to the South Carolina Gamecocks

Elite prospect GG Jackson announced his commitment to South Carolina on Saturday, while also confirming that he plans to reclassify to the 2022 class and apply for the Gamecocks in the upcoming men’s basketball season.

Jackson’s decision comes nine days after he was released from North Carolina; He’s now the first player in the modern recruiting era to break away from the tar heels and go to college elsewhere. JR Smith signed to Carolina in 2003 but went straight out of high school to the NBA.

South Carolina had been in the driver’s seat for the 6-foot-9 prospect in the state over the winter before the Gamecocks fired Frank Martin and replaced him with Lamont Paris. Paris attempted to land Jackson after the takeover, but Jackson signed for North Carolina in late April. In opting for the Tar Heels, Jackson also made it clear that he planned to remain in the 2023 class and not reclassify.

“We looked at that first,” Jackson told ESPN in April. “But weighing my options and looking at the different people that were reclassified to see how it affected them. I feel like I’m not physically ready to play at this college level, so I wanted to stay in my class and just prepare the best I can.”

However, for the past month there has been ongoing speculation that Jackson would transfer from North Carolina to South Carolina and play for the Gamecocks in the 2022-23 season. Since Jackson was playing his last summer AAU game with the CP3 All-Stars on Friday night, he decided to confirm the rumors on Saturday.

Jackson, a product of Ridge View High School in Columbia, South Carolina, is ranked #6 on the ESPN 100 for 2023. He averaged 12.9 points and 9.8 rebounds on the Nike EYBL track last spring and summer and scored 13.1 points and 10.2 rebounds in 20 games at the circuit this season. During his junior high school season, he averaged 22.1 points and 10.9 rebounds and was named South Carolina’s Gatorade Player of the Year. 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 throughout his career and has been playing at a pretty high level lately. He was great and tough at NBPA camp,” said ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi. “He brings versatility and potential to South Carolina. His shot on target from inside the arc with footwork was impressive. His finishing ability on transition and ball screen defense with switchable foot speed and length to stay in front of the ball will be one when engaged, his rebound 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 continuing to produce.”

Jackson joins Zachary Davis and Daniel Hankins-Sanford in South Carolina’s class of 2022, though Paris also landed five transfers in the spring.

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