Nokomis Excessive Faculty of Newport star Cooper Flagg didn’t doubt his skills.
When he attended the tryout camp for the USA FIBA World Cup Underneath-17 crew, he was assured he would make it regardless of being one of many youngest gamers.
Not solely did the 15-year-old make the crew, he performed an vital function in Group USA going 7-0 and successful the world championship in Spain.
It’s the newest accomplishment for Flagg, whose inventory and confidence proceed to rise. Since being named the third-best freshman participant within the nation by ESPN, he has obtained a slew of scholarship presents from the nation’s prime collegiate applications and made his worldwide debut. Now, he and his Maine United 15-Underneath AAU basketball crew will play within the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Peach Jam Match in Augusta, Georgia.
“To play with and in opposition to gamers of such a excessive degree undoubtedly gave my confidence an enormous enhance,” Flagg mentioned of his expertise within the FIBA World Cup.
Within the come-from-behind 79-67 win in Sunday’s ultimate, he had 10 factors, 17 rebounds, 4 blocked pictures and a game-high eight steals. He had seven rebounds within the third quarter alone, and the People used a 21-3 spurt to show a seven-point deficit into an 11-point lead.
Flagg helped the People shut out the sport by hitting a 3-pointer, grabbing 4 rebounds, blocking three pictures and making two steals over the sport’s ultimate 7:01.
“It has been a busy summer season, however I’m grateful for all of those alternatives,” mentioned the 6-foot-8 ahead. “The match in Spain was an awesome expertise. I obtained an opportunity to go someplace new, strive new meals and be capable to play basketball with a bunch of fellows I will likely be seeing a number of sooner or later.”
His ultimate stat line for the match included averages of 9.3 factors, 10 rebounds, 2.4 blocked pictures, 2.4 steals and 1.9 assists, with simply over 19:30 of taking part in time per contest.
He shot 43.5 % from the ground (27-for-62), 3-for-7 past the 3-point arc and 8-for-11 from the free throw line. He had eight turnovers in seven video games.
“All through the match, I used to be simply trying to do no matter I may to assist us win. I’ll not have scored loads, however I used to be completely satisfied that I used to be in a position to contribute in different methods,” Flagg mentioned.
He obtained again to Newport at 2 a.m. on Tuesday and flew to Florida Thursday to arrange for the Peach Jam. The crew — coached by former College of Maine star Andy Bedard and assistant Kelly (Bowman) Flagg, Cooper’s mom — grew to become the primary from Maine to qualify for the match.
They open with Group Takeover from Washington, D.C., on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Flagg likes his crew’s probabilities on the Peach Jam, which can run via July 24.
“We’re strong. We should play as a crew, play for one another and play as exhausting as we are able to. If we do, I do know we are able to win,” mentioned Flagg, who teamed with twin brother, Ace, to guide Nokomis to its first state Class A boys championship this previous season.
He is aware of there will likely be loads of school coaches available to observe the occasion. Flagg has already obtained presents from the College of Maine, Duke, UCLA, Michigan, Iowa, West Virginia, Albany and Bryant.
“It’s an enormous match, and I do know a number of recruitment comes out of it,” mentioned Flagg, who hasn’t selected a university but.
First, he mentioned he must “develop my offensive recreation usually. My capturing, ballhandling. I’ve to attempt to clear some stuff up and proceed to push ahead.”
Flagg will attend the extremely regarded Montverde Academy in Florida within the fall, together with Ace.
Along with the Flagg twins, the Maine United 15-under crew consists of Bangor’s Landon Clark, Cheverus Excessive of Portland’s Leo McNabb and Sammy Nzeyimana, Nokomis’ Dawson Townsend, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro’s Gabe Lash and Kaden Bedard, Andy’s son.
Kaden Bedard, an eighth-grader, attends Montverde Academy.