Don’t look for puffs of white smoke emanating from the home of 6-10 GG Jackson anytime soon. That’s according to the family patriarch Greg Jackson. The Ridge View star, who currently is in the 2023 class, said after winning the 5A state championship last Thursday he expected to make a decision within the next two weeks. But his father said Monday night things aren’t moving that quickly.
“We’re still a ways off,” Greg Jackson said. “He threw out there that two to three weeks and I don’t know why he said that. If something does happen in the next two to three weeks, it will be him on his own.”
Would GG go out on his own with the decision? “I’d be in the newspaper for another reason,” his dad replied.”
“We’re just looking at what would be best for him mentally-wise,” Jackson said. “Still 17 years old. What would be the best situation for him to be in that he can handle still being a kid and not trying to rush anything. We’re not worrying about the physical part and the basketball part. We just want him to be in a place where he’s going to be happy. A place that comes with all of that. Once that’s decided, I think it will pretty much be easy. At the end of the day, we want him to be happy and be able to live with the choice that’s made. I told him the final decision is left up to him, but we want to guide him to make sure he gets it right the first time. That’s where we’re at right now.”
GG last week identified his options as USC, Duke, North Carolina, Georgetown, Auburn and the G League. Prior to that list being released, Greg Jackson did not consider going straight to the pros to be a strong option.
“We were shocked about the list,” Jackson said. “The kids kind of got together and did that, he and my daughter. Me and my wife were like, what is all this? The G League is still an option. I don’t know about this year, but it is an option. The G League, in my opinion, it will prepare you for the NBA, but they don’t have the exposure that the college guys are getting. You never see any of the G League games on TV. You don’t know who is doing what. These college guys, certain programs, they are on TV all the time. Their stock is going high.”
Former NBA guard Rod Strickland, who is the program director for the G League’s Team Ignite, has been the primary recruiter of GG by the pro league. His phone calls have been rolling in just like the ones from USC’s Frank Martin, Duke’s Jon Scheyer, North Carolina’s Hubert Davis and the other head coaches.
Monday night the process of making three decisions began in the Jackson home. There’s picking a college. There’s deciding whether to go to college or go pro. And there’ deciding whether to reclassify to the 2022 class or stay with the 2023 class. GG still has a couple of pieces of academic work to complete to be able to reclassify according to his dad, and his son is not clear cut on what he wants to do about that.
“You know how it is with a 17-year-old,” Jackson said. “Some days, yes, let’s do it. And some days, I don’t know if I’m ready. I may not be big enough.”
Frank Martin and his assistant Chuck Martin have done their dead-level best to convince GG that staying home and playing for the state university is his best move. They’ve made all the calls, made all the visits, written all the notes. According to Greg Jackson, the Gamecock coaches have made it clear how they feel about his son.
“He’s our guy, we really want him, that type thing,” Jackson said of the message from Martin and Martin. “Coach Martin came to the state championship game. He was courtside and that meant a lot. They are doing their due diligence. I’ve got to give them that. South Carolina is selling the hometown hero, stay home. Sounds real good.”
Frank Martin can only imagine what adding GG to his program would mean. He would be the major piece to a talented class already signed, or one he could put together for 2023. According to Greg Jackson, wherever his son lands, more topflight talent might follow.
“He got a chance to play at one of the elite camps that they had over at Carolina with Zach Davis, and they played really good,” Jackson said. “I think Coach Martin was really over the top about those two. And plus, I know there’s a couple of top 30 guys that wherever GG goes might want to come with him. One guy South Carolina is looking at, Comeh Emuobor, he and GG are really good friends. They play summer ball together with CP3.”
As the process of making a decision begins for the Jacksons, one point is clear from Greg Jackson as they review their options. It won’t be an easy decision.
“I just don’t think he can go wrong with any of them.”