South Carolina freshman GG Jackson has announced he is entering his name in the 2023 NBA Draft. Jackson made the announcement on his Instagram live on Friday morning.
“A lot of people want to know if I’m staying or if I’m going, and USC definitely helped me a lot,” Jackson said in the video. “I feel like it helped mature me. There were a lot of ups and downs. I went through a little something something with the coaches and all that, so that definitely helped me mentally. And now I’m declaring for the NBA Draft — just like that.”
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The announcement was likely expected but the journey to get there has been an interesting one for Jackson. He originally committed to the University of North Carolina in what signaled a move of potential one-and-done talent headed to Chapel Hill. It didn’t last long.
Jackson decided to flip his commitment and reclassify for this season to join South Carolina. At times throughout this season, that decision looked like it might not have been the best for both Jackson and South Carolina. From a numbers perspective, he led the Gamecocks in scoring at 15.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
Off the court his youth and inexperience seemed to cause some issues with the team. Some of that can be expected for a player his age and on a team that was 11-21 overall and just 4-14 in the tough SEC Conference.
He did achieve his goal of declaring for the draft. Early mock drafts have him outside the lottery selections. It will be interesting to see if workouts prior to the draft move that needle.
It should be noted that his announcement did not mention if he would be hiring an agent or not. For now, the door would remain open for him to return to South Carolina if he is simply testing the waters. Speculation is that he will remain in the draft.
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