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Cooper Flagg wows during scrimmage against USA Olympic Team



Cooper Flagg wows during scrimmage against USA Olympic Team

Cooper Flagg appeared like a person amongst males for the USA Choose Group throughout its scrimmage towards Group USA.

In truth, the other is true. Flagg is a boy amongst males, and although he possesses a manlike power and ability set, the younger participant is simply 17 years previous. 

However Cooper Flagg is in contrast to most 17-year-olds. At 6-foot-9, 205 kilos, Flagg’s stature is already corresponding to an NBAer’s. The consensus No. 1 recruit within the Class of 2024, Flagg is about to hitch Duke subsequent season and is projected to be the No. 1 general decide within the 2025 NBA Draft. 

And for good purpose. Flagg’s athleticism and shot-making potential is elite, and he possesses the size, intangibles and work ethic to grow to be an All-Star caliber participant. He received his first style of All-Star degree competitors Monday, almost main the Choose Group to a win towards Group USA in a head-turning efficiency.

Flagg’s expertise was on full show through the 74-73 loss. He sized up Anthony Davis close to the fitting hash mark earlier than rising up for a stone-cold 3-pointer over the 6-foot-11 large man. He received busy within the put up, hitting a turnaround jumper over Jrue Vacation. He threw in powerful putback lay-up over Bam Adebayo. 

His ability has by no means been in query. Flagg is a 2024 McDonald’s American and has a great deal of USA Basketball expertise, together with a spot on the 2022 FIBA Below-17 staff, whereas he received the 2024 Nike Hoop Summit as a member of Group USA.

However the poise and confidence to point out out towards the world’s finest demonstrates a uncommon potential that might make Flagg a future nice. And after the efficiency, one NBA coach affirmed that no participant on the squad was higher than Flagg. All of his teammates on the USA Choose Group — together with Brandin Podziemski, Amen Thompson, Brandon Miller and Jalen Duren — have performed at the very least one season within the NBA. 

“He kicked butt right here,” Choose staff coach Jamahl Mosley stated. “There’s a respect issue for what he’s accomplished. Individuals who haven’t seen him play, as he will get himself going inside the sport, they shortly see what he can do.”

For Flagg, who’s the primary school participant to be chosen to the Choose staff since Marcus Sensible and Doug McDermott had been invited to camp in 2013, there’s nonetheless a kid-like awe of the second. 

“I used to be shocked, I used to be shocked, and I used to be actually excited for this chance,” Flagg stated after listening to that he was chosen. Flagg was the primary participant the choice committee reached out to throughout its course of. “And I’m simply actually blessed that I used to be capable of come out and capitalize on it and present what I’ve. I used to be actually grateful to come back out and study. That was the most important factor for me, simply with the ability to study and develop, to share a health club with all of those nice, nice names. Legends. So, I’m simply actually blessed.”

Regardless of his shock, he made the many of the alternative to play towards the greats with confidence.

“I’m assured in my potential and my ability,” he stated after the scrimmage. “On the finish of the day, I’m assured in who I’m and what I can do, so I am simply popping out to play basketball.”

His potential to compartmentalize the sport is a part of what makes him such an intriguing prospect. And it does not damage to get recommendation from a few of the finest to ever do it, together with LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

“They’ve all simply been fairly welcoming,” Flagg stated. “The Choose staff, they’re appreciative of us being right here, and sort of getting them prepared, gearing up. So it is all simply welcoming, they’re simply telling me to maintain working and keep grounded.”

Flagg added that if the USA staff can discover its chemistry, it will likely be unstoppable on the Olympics.

“They are often no matter staff they need to be,” he stated. “They don’t have any weaknesses, no holes. They’ll play any sort of manner and dominate. So it is going to be a dominant staff that asserts their will on everyone they see.”

Flagg himself is utilizing what he is studying from the minicamp alternative to assist him change into an unstoppable pressure on the professional degree. However first, some school lessons for the 17-year-old.

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