Will basketball rookie GG Jackson change UNC commitment?



South Carolina rookie Greg “GG” Jackson watches the Gamecocks prepare to play at LSU on Saturday, February 19, 2022.

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Rumors about GG Jackson’s future have been circulating for a few weeks. It seems that the situation could soon be clarified.

Jackson — the five-star basketball recruit from Ridge View High School and University of North Carolina commitment — is expected to make some sort of announcement about his future as soon as this week, according to a source familiar with his recruiting . He has been committed to North Carolina since April 27, but it looks increasingly like he will change his promise and play for the South Carolina Gamecocks, his hometown.

Four 247Sports reporters or analysts have made Crystal Ball predictions over the past few days that Jackson to reverse UNC commitment to South Carolina. On3 Recruitment Analyst Jamie Shaw also screened Jackson to finish with the Gamecocks.

No one expects the move from North Carolina to South Carolina will be guaranteed. The state source would only describe the reversal as “likely” and “expected.” There’s a chance that Jackson could choose to sign a professional contract with the NBA G League or Overtime Elite.

Another source, this one close to the Gamecocks side, confirmed to The State that there is legitimacy to rumors that Jackson could return to USC.

If Jackson decides to go to South Carolina, he is expected to reclassify to the class of 2022, enroll later this summer and dress this season for freshman coach Lamont Paris. . If that happens, Jackson would be the program’s highest-ranked high school signer in school history. PJ Dozier was considered the 25th best player in the country by 247Sports when he signed with USC in 2014.

Jackson is ranked by On3 as the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2023. The 247Sports Composite ranking, which takes into account all networks, places Jackson in second place.

What about UNC or the NBA?

Jackson announced his commitment on April 27 in North Carolina, choosing the Tar Heels over South Carolina. His other finishing schools were Duke, Auburn, Georgetown and playing professionally with Overtime Elite.

On3’s Shaw reported this month that Jackson and his family were exploring other options, one of which is South Carolina. The On3 story also said the G League, the NBA’s developmental league, is still pursuing Jackson and listed Oregon, where former USC assistant Chuck Martin now coaches, as a point. possible landing if he broke his commitment to UNC.

Jackson and his family have not commented publicly on whether he has changed his mind, though he indicated via Instagram Live video last week that he remains committed to North Carolina. Jackson’s father, Gregory, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The State.

Jackson also did not speak to reporters at this weekend’s Nike EYBL event in Kansas City, which was attended by UNC coach Hubert Davis. Jackson plays for North Carolina’s CP3 team on the AAU circuit. The Nike EYBL concludes its season July 17-24 at the annual Peach Jam event in North Augusta.

Five-star basketball player GG Jackson committed to North Carolina on April 27. Sam Wolfe Special to the State

A couple of things appear to be the motivating factors behind the current buzz around Jackson, based on reports from The State, On3, 247Sports and other outlets:

The plan was always that Jackson would play college basketball and likely be “one-and-done” and leave school early for the NBA. He said his desire is to play his senior year of high school and enroll in college in 2023. However, upgrading to the Class of 2022 now appears to be a real option being considered. Jackson has enough high school credits to graduate early and upgrade — or go to the G-League, which requires players to be 18.

The G-League could pay Jackson a maximum salary of $500,000, but chances are he could earn more than that at the college level through name, image and likeness opportunities.

Jackson was named MVP of the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp held in June in Orlando, Florida. His impressive performance in front of NBA staff sparked a conversation that Jackson might want to follow a path that would lead him to the pros sooner rather than later – which is where reclassification and the start of college come into play. game. On3Sports interviewed three NBA draft analysts predicting Jackson would be a top 15 pick in the 2023 draft.

North Carolina has no scholarships open if Jackson decides to reclassify. The Tar Heels used their 13th and final purse on transfer keeper Pete Nance. South Carolina still has two stock exchanges open.

Jackson has “liked” several social media posts regarding the current buzz surrounding his recruitment, including several stories or comments specifically about him becoming a Gamecock.

Some pundits thought Jackson would initially commit to the University of South Carolina, but that changed when Gamecocks coach Frank Martin was fired in March. Jackson went so far as to say that Martin’s firing was a factor in his choice for the Tar Heels: “When South Carolina let go of Coach Martin, I feel like that changed things, and I finally knew exactly where I wanted to go.”

New USC coach Lamont Paris met with Jackson and his family before picking the Tar Heels in April. Paris and USC coaches have since attended some of his AAU games with the CP3 team this summer, and the Gamecocks were in attendance at the NBA Top 100 camp.

Jackson averaged 22.9 points, 10.9 rebounds last season helping the Blazers to the Class 5A championship. It was Ridge View’s fourth championship in five years.

“He’s extremely gifted, the future is bright,” ESPN’s Paul Biancardi told The State in April. “What makes him special is his willingness to accept coaching and wanting to improve. That’s huge.

State’s Michael Lananna contributed

This story was originally published July 11, 2022 6:51 p.m.

Lou Bezjak is the High School Athletic Readiness Coordinator for State (Columbia) and Island Packet (Hilton Head). He previously worked at the Florence Morning News and has covered high school sports in South Carolina since 2002. Lou is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.
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