Six with Palmetto State ties picked Thursday night in the NBA Draft

Noah Clowney of Dorman and GG Jackson of Ridge View were two of the state’s headline senior high school basketball players in 2022. Jackson was the more highly acclaimed of the two after leading the Blazers to the 5A state championship, then committing to North Carolina before signing with USC. Clowney took his game out of state to Alabama.

Both players were one and done in college and Thursday night realized their dreams of being selected in the NBA Draft. While a year ago it was thought by many Jackson could be a lottery pick, it was Clowney who was the first player from the state drafted. He was taken by the Brooklyn Nets with the 21st pick.


A four-star recruit at Dorman High School with averages of 17.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks as a senior, Noah Clowney committed to Alabama, where he was a one-and-done. Clowney started 32 of his 36 appearances as a freshman, averaging 9.8 points on 48.6 percent shooting, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 combined blocks-plus-steals in 25.4 minutes. Those numbers got him voted to the SEC All-Freshman Team. He also put up career highs of 22 points, five threes, 15 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks. Alabama won its conference tournament and made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

The next player drafted with state ties was 6-8 Olivier Maxence-Prosper, who started his career at Clemson before transferring after one season to Marquette. He was picked 24th by Sacramento and then traded to Dallas.

In round two, Blythewood native 6-7 Julian Phillips, who played one season at Tennessee, was the 35th overall pick by the Boston Celtics, but he reportedly is going to end up in Chicago.

Two picks later, the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Clemson forward 6-8 Hunter Tyson, but reportedly is shipping him off to the NBA Champion Denver Nuggets.


Tyson is a five-year college player out of Clemson. He became a full-time starter in 2021-22 — his fourth year. That season, he averaged 10.0 points on 46/35/79 shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 25.6 minutes. As a senior, he was voted to the ACC All-First Team behind 15.3 points on 48/41/84 shooting, 9.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Tyson led the Tigers to a 23-11 record. He set collegiate career bests of 31 points, 15 rebounds, four assists (twice), four steals, three blocks and six three-pointers (two times).

Jackson’s wait finally ended at pick #45 when the Memphis Grizzlies called his name.


GG Jackson was the 2022 South Carolina Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year and a two-time state champion with Ridge View High School after averaging 22.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. Jackson was a consensus top collegiate prospect for the 2023 recruiting class. However, Jackson reclassified into the 2022 collegiate class, ultimately joining the South Carolina program after initially committing to UNC. Jackson is a Columbia, South Carolina native and represents the youngest player eligible for the 2023 NBA Draft — still just 18 years old. Jackson averaged 15.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game during his one-and-done campaign at South Carolina. 

The final player from the state drafted was Summerville native and Furman standout 6-7 Jalen Slawson who was the 54th overall pick. Slawson played in 153 games over five seasons with the Paladins. He finished with career averages of 9.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Last season was his best as he averaged nearly 16 points and 7 rebounds per game in leading the Paladins to the NCAA Tournament. He was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year.

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