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Gamecock men nab highest-ranked recruit in program history with GG Jackson

A truly historic moment for first-year coach Lamont Paris.

SPORTS-BKC-SCAROLINA-JACKSON-CS Tracy Glantz/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The South Carolina men’s basketball program got an incredible boost in the first offseason of the Lamont Paris era on Saturday, when Columbia native and Ridge View standout GG Jackson committed to play for the Gamecocks.

Jackson, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound power forward who is ranked as the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2022 class, was originally committed to basketball blueblood North Carolina before backing off that pledge and deciding to play for his hometown team.

It was a stunning blow for the Tar Heels, who hadn’t lost a commitment since 2003, and an unbelievable reversal in fortune for the Gamecocks, who for years have watched top talent after top talent flee the Palmetto State for greener pastures.

Jackson posted 22.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.5 blocked shots while being named South Carolina’s Gatorade Player of the Year en route to a state championship this past season. Jackson, a five-star, also reclassified to join the 2022 recruiting class.

It goes without saying that this is an amazing start to Paris’ tenure in Columbia, as Jackson immediately becomes the most important addition to the Gamecocks’ roster. If nothing else, it’s a sight for sore eyes, as USC fans have suffered for years watching the surrounding bluechip programs consistently pluck NBA-level talent from their own backyard.