South Carolina basketball hasn't put many players in the NBA in recent years. In fact, only Renaldo Balkman (2006-2012) and PJ Dozier (2017-2023) are the only Gamecocks to play more than 5 seasons in the Association since the turn of the century. Chris Silva, AJ Lawson, and Anthony Gill (who left the program to transfer to Virginia before heading to the NBA) are all still active and have a chance to reach the mark, as well.
Late Thursday night, though, another former Gamecock signed a contract that will push him to the 5-year mark in the NBA.
GG Jackson had a career-best night for the Memphis Grizzlies, setting new personal marks for points scored (27) and rebounds (9) while playing efficiently (50% shooting; 44% 3-pointing; 0 turnover) and setting a new all-time NBA record as the youngest player ever to score 25 points or more off the bench, a record previously held by the legendary Kobe Bryant.
After his huge game, Jackson signed a long-term contract that will keep him part of the Memphis Grizzlies organization for the foreseeable future. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, GG Jackson's contract will be for four seasons, three of them guaranteed.
The contract was not some quick-trigger reaction from the Grizzlies to one good game from the former South Carolina basketball star. Instead, it was a reward for Jackson's continued strong play.
Since being called up in January, when Jackson gets at least 20 minutes on the floor, he is averaging nearly 17 points per game, over 5 rebounds per contest, 1 steal, 1 block, and 41% shooting from outside. That type of production for a 6'9" combo forward is rare even in the NBA, so it was a no-brainer for the Grizzlies to lock up their promising rookie.
Jackson was snubbed from the NBA's Rising Stars Challenge, but he was rewarded where it matters long-term: in job security and his bank account.