After weeks of speculation, freshman forward Gregory "GG" Jackson II announced his decision to declare for the 2023 NBA Draft on Instagram Live Friday morning.
“A lot of people, they want to know, 'Am I staying or am I going?' And USC’s definitely helped me a lot," Jackson said in the video. "I feel like it helped mature me. It was a lot of ups and downs, and I went through a little something something with the coaches and all that, so that definitely helped me mentally.”
Jackson, a Columbia native who attended Ridge View High School, committed to playing for the Gamecocks after decommitting from North Carolina and reclassifying to the class of 2022 this past July. He arrived in Columbia as the highest-rated recruit in program history, ranking No. 6 by 247 Sports and No. 7 by On3 in their respective national player rankings.
In his time at South Carolina, Jackson appeared in 32 games, averaging a team-high of 15.4 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game, the second-highest mark on the team. He scored double-digit points in each of his first 14 games and 25 total contests, including a 30-point display against nationally-ranked Auburn on Jan. 21.
Jackson was also named SEC Freshman of the Week on Nov. 14 after an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double against S.C. State on Nov. 8 and a 12-point, eight-rebound performance against Clemson on Nov. 11.
Jackson’s brief stay at South Carolina was not without controversy as another Instagram Live video posted after the team’s Feb. 4 loss against Arkansas led to the freshman being pulled from the starting lineup for three games. He subsequently posted an apology on Twitter the next day.
The 2023 NBA Draft will be held at the Barclays Center in New York City on June 22.