University of Maryland


COLLEGE PARK, Md – After a standout sophomore season at Belmont, Ja'Kobie Gillespie (Greeneville, TN) has officially signed with the Maryland men's basketball program, as announced by the head coach Kevin Willard Today.

The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 17.2 points, 4.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals for the Bruins last season. He was named to the Missouri Valley All-Conference Second Team and the MVC All-Defensive Team. Additionally, he was named to the conference's Most Improved Team.

“Ja'Kobi is a versatile, athletic defender who can score and defend at a high level,” Willard said. “He wants to compete at the highest level and strives daily to continue to improve while making those around him better.”

Overall, Gillespie played in 57 games (32 starts) at Belmont, averaging 12.9 points, 3.7 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game. He shot 51.1 percent from the floor, including 34.8 percent from distance. In the 2023-24 season, his productivity increased from 9.6 points, 3.3 assists and 2.1 rebounds to 17.2 points, 4.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds.

As a sophomore, he had 22 double-digit scoring games, including 26 points against Southern Illinois, the highest of his career. He also ranked among the MVC's leaders in seven statistical categories, including first in steals, fifth in scoring and sixth in assists per game. He was one of only two players in the country to average over 17 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.

As a freshman, Gillespie was named to the 2023 MVC All-Freshman Team and the All-Bench Team. He scored a season-high 24 points in his rookie season at Northern Iowa, where he scored in double figures in 16 games. He finished the year third in the MVC in steals (1.5), fifth in total steals (49) and fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.83).

A graduate of Greeneville High School, Gillespie was named the 2022 Tennessee 3A Mr. Basketball – the first player from Northeast Tennessee to receive this honor in the award's 37-year history. He was named Player of the Year twice and was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State team twice. Gillespie scored 2,129 career points and averaged 27.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 3.0 steals per game, leading Greeneville to the 3A state championship as a senior. He was named most valuable player in the state tournament with an average of 26.3 points.