July 15, 2024

Cooper Flagg ‘Blown Away’ Upon Arrival at USA Basketball Camp

Even with his talent and the hype surrounding him, Duke basketball freshman Cooper Flagg was starstruck when he first arrived at the Team USA training camp as a member of the Select Team.

Flagg is the first college player to be invited to the USA Basketball Select Team since Doug McDermott and Marcus Smart in 2013, despite not yet playing a college basketball game. The Maine native is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2025 NBA Draft after his season at Duke.

Flagg had to adjust to seeing stars like LeBron James and Steph Curry on the court. “At first I was a little bit blown away when I first walked up here,” Flagg told ESPN. “But then once the ball went up, it’s basketball to me at the end of the day.”

It didn’t take long for the 17-year-old to prove he belonged among the 12 NBA All-Stars set to play in the Paris Olympics. He quickly found his rhythm in a scrimmage on Sunday and thrived on Monday, nearly leading an upset of Team USA, falling short by just one point.

Flagg expressed his surprise and honor at the opportunity, telling ESPN, “I was pretty surprised just because it’s not like a normal thing. So, I was definitely really honored and just excited that I had this opportunity.”

2024 USAB Men's Training Camp in Las Vegas; Duke basketball forward Cooper Flagg battles against Steph Curry

Duke head coach Jon Scheyer and Flagg’s parents watched the future star in Las Vegas this week as his stock soared in front of many NBA coaches, scouts, and personnel.

Flagg will soon return to Durham to complete Duke’s offseason workouts before the team breaks for the summer, returning for the fall semester at the end of August. The Blue Devils will begin their season on November 4 against Maine.

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