Cooper Flagg earns spot on U17 national basketball team

Cooper Flagg earns spot on U17 national basketball team


Cooper Flagg earns spot on U17 national basketball team

Cooper Flagg works through a drill at a USA Basketball men’s junior national team minicamp workout this past April in New Orleans. Photo provided by USA Basketball/Harrison Zhang

Cooper Flagg earned a spot on the U17 men’s national basketball team, USA Basketball announced Wednesday.

The 6-foot-8 Flagg, who helped lead Nokomis Regional High School to the Class A state championship last season, is one of 12 players who will compete in the 2022 FIBA ​​U17 World Cup in Malaga, Spain, from July 2-10.

The national team, which was selected by a USA basketball committee, features high school student-athletes who will graduate in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

The team was picked after a five-day training camp at the US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Flagg impressed at the training camp, said Don Showalter, USA Basketball’s director of youth and sport development.

“I really liked what he did, and how skilled he was,” Showalter said after the camp wrapped up in early April. “He came and really showed us, I think, another level of what he can be as a basketball player.

Flagg, who will attend basketball prep powerhouse Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida, in the fall, was one of 18 finalists for a roster spot.

The team, which Sherman White will coach, features a few players who won a gold medal at the 2021 FIBA ​​U16 Americas Championship in Xalapa, Mexico, including David Castillo, Jeremy Fears, Jr., Ron Holland and Dennis Evans III.

The U17 team will try to win its sixth straight gold medal since 2010.

Nokomis’ Cooper Flagg (32) dunks over Brewer’s Cameron Hughes (34) and Aaron Newcomb (20) during a Jan. 20 boys basketball game in Newport. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Flagg captivated basketball audiences across the state this past winter, with his unselfish play and thunderous dunks. He arrived at Nokomis with plenty of buzz that is rarely given to Maine high school freshmen. Flagg, along with brothers Ace and Hunter, helped lead the Warriors to a 21-1 season that culminated with the Class A title. Flagg was named Maine Gatorade Player of the Year, the first freshman to earn the award. He averaged 20.5 points, 10 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 3.7 steals and 3.7 blocks a game.

Flagg scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Class A final victory over Falmouth.

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