A season that started in the G League ended with Memphis Grizzlies forward G.G. Jackson receiving recognition from the NBA.

The former Ridge View state champion and former University of South Carolina forward was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second team on May 20. The youngest player in the NBA, the 19-year-old is the first Memphis player to make the All-Rookie team since Desmond Bane in 2020.

The 45th overall pick of the NBA draft was the only second-round pick to make the All-Rookie team. He earned five first-place votes and 33 votes for the second team to finish 10th in total voting.

“I definitely feel like I’m becoming a pro – or more of a pro,” said Jackson, coming off his latest historic performance as the Grizzlies reach the midpoint of their four-game trip. “I’ve been having conversations with (veteran teammate) Derrick Rose about things that are necessary to become a better pro. I’d been talking to (Memphis Hustle G League coach) Jason March about creating better habits. Those things are going to mold me into hopefully the potential star player I want to be, but overall, just a solid basketball player.”
After getting brought up by the Grizzlies in January due to injury, Jackson played in 48 games and started 18 for Memphis. He averaged 14.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 25.7 minutes.

Among his highlights was setting a single-game rookie franchise record with 44 points in the regular-season finale against Denver. It was also the second-highest scoring total by a teenager in NBA history.

“What stands out to me is just his ability to play within himself and not trying to do too much,” Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins said. “As you said it, every now and then we’ll run a play for him. A lot of times it’s him as a screener, roller, and being a creator for us, but he’s playing on the second side a lot, he’s shooting with confidence. The ball is finding him in good spots, the spacing has been really good. Then when it’s time to go and catch and get downhill, he’s got to figure out playing in crowds, teams swiping down, two guys collapse, creating some advantages, that’s all going to come in time.

“We want to continue to grow the playmaking for him but especially into that closeout situation. He’s scoring well, he’s attacking in transition, can get to the paint, as we always talked about getting to the paint, but can shoot the 3. Then he’s going to continue to grow on the defensive side. We’re going to keep challenging him. It’s just more steps in the right direction for his growth.”


Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

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