Jacobi Wright always took offense to getting asked if he was from North Carolina.
Growing up in Fort Mill but playing AAU basketball with a team out of Charlotte, he’d always be quick to point out he’s from the Palmetto State and not North Carolina.
Now he’ll get a chance to represent his state a little while longer as the newest member of the Gamecocks’ 2021 class committed on Sunday.
In his junior season at Legacy charter school in Greenville, Wright averaged 17.4 points, 5.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game.
“It always felt good to say I’m from South Carolina, I’m from somewhere different,” the 6-foot-2, 180-pound point guard told GamecockCentral after his commitment. “For me to be able to play for them, I get to rep my state going against schools from everywhere.
"Being able to wear that across my chest means even more.”
Wright committed to South Carolina Sunday, publicly announcing his decision on Instagram live and later on social media, becoming the second commitment in the Gamecocks’ class. He picked the Gamecocks over South Florida, Winthrop, UNC Charlotte, Elon, UNC Wilmington, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina, DePaul and Tennessee Tech.
One of the biggest reasons, he said, was the relationship he built with the entire coaching staff, first with assistant Bruce Shingler and then with head coach Frank Martin after the Gamecocks offered him at the beginning of April.
“Me and Bruce are really close. He’s a great guy. He can talk to me about anything. It’s not like he’s just part of another generation and we can’t connect. He’s just really down to earth, really cool. He’s someone I can talk to about more than basketball,” Wright said. “That played a really big part.
"I don’t want to go somewhere where me and coaches can’t really bond.”
Wright openly admitted during the recruiting process how much he wanted a family atmosphere and a program with a system where he can thrive and develop to hopefully get to the next level.
He thinks he got both at South Carolina.
“After I went on a few visits, I just like the environment. I like the way coach Frank coaches. He coaches pretty hard and I feel like that’s something I need to keep getting better and develop my game,” he said. “It’s somewhere I feel like I fit the play style and I can really elevate my game and show what I can do in the program’s style of play.
"Plus my parents can make it to the games.”
The Gamecocks really like his ability to score and are excited to get him in the fold as part of the 2021 class.
“I told coach Frank (about committing to the Gamecocks) when we were on the phone,” Wright said. “When I told him I was in, he got really excited. He got pretty loud. He let me know I was wanted.
"Me telling him was great for them.”
What’s next, according to Wright, is continuing to develop his game and gain a little weight for durability before arriving on campus for the 2021-22 season.
Now that he’s "in the boat," he’s ready to put on his recruiting cap and try and get a few more guys in the class to head to Columbia.
“Definitely. I know they’re going after Cesare (Edwards). I’m going to try and bring him in and maybe John Butler," Wright said. "Whoever they tell me they’re most excited about and want to get, especially if I have a relationship with them, I’m definitely going to try and bring in another recruit.”
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