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Cooper Flagg never doubted that he’d make the U17 national basketball team – Bangor Daily News – 152news
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Cooper Flagg was again On the grind late Wednesday afternoon, going by way of his stretching exercises simply earlier than his second apply of the day On the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Teaching Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

But this apply was completely different.

The 15-yr-previous Newport native, current from ending his currentman yr at Nokomis Regional Highschool, Not was merely a candidate for the 2022 USA Basketball Males’s U17 Nationwide Group.

The 6-foot-8 forward was named to the 12-participant squad earlier Inside the day, and now The obligation was switching from the tryout half to getting ready To assist symbolize America On the FIBA U17 World Cup in Malaga, Spain, in early July.

“Cooper is A very versatile participant — he can do A lot of issues,” said Sharman White, head coach of the USA Basketball Males’s U17 Nationwide Group As properly as to the boys basketball coach at Tempo Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. “He can play infacet; he can play outfacet, and he can deal with the ball. I really feel Fantastic about his IQ as a participant. He’s like A army switchblade knife.”

Flagg’s selection to the U17 national team is The latest in a distinctive collection of events for the son of Ralph and Kelly (Bowman) Flagg, who started his currentman season at Nokomis final November having already established himself as Definitely one of many prime gamers from The class of 2025 nationally by way of his play on the journey basketball circuit.

He and twin brother Ace led Nokomis to its First-class A state championship in boys basketball in March, with Cooper additionally turning into The primary currentman — boy or woman — in state historic previous to be named Gatorade Maine Player of the Year Inside The sport.

Flagg was chosen to go to New Orleans in early April to halficipate in a USA Basketball minicamp in early April held Alongside facet the NCAA Division I Last 4, and he additionally spent this spring starring for the Maine United 15-and-beneath membership team that turned The primary team of its type from Maine to halficipate Inside The distinguished Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.

Maine United went 7-1 in its first two EYBL events in Orlando, Florida, and Indianapolis, Indiana, to clinch a berth Inside the season-ending Peach Jam national event set for July 17-24.

Flagg’s quickly rising presence on the national scene led to a collection of early school scholarship provides, starting final summer time when he was simply 14 and extra currently collectively with provides from such elite Division I packages as Duke, UCLA, Michigan and Iowa.

Then acquired here The prospect to Take A look at for the U17 national team, and now being chosen from a forged of 34 unique invitees and 18 finalists after 5 days of two-a-day exercises.

“It’s simply The outcomes of All of the exhausting work, and it means Tons,” Flagg said. “It’s an honor, particularly being from Maine and understanding I’ve acquired The complete state behind me.

“Clearly it’s what you’re working for, so I wasn’t surprised. I knew I had the expertise. It was Solely a matter of going out And dealing as exhausting as I might and getting The recognition for it.”

The U17 tryouts have been completely different from Lots of his earlier basketball experiences in that Flagg not only was competing in the direction of prime gamers of The identical age nationally however in the direction of prime gamers from The packages of 2023 and 2024 to earn a spot on the World Cup team.

Flagg, ranked third nationally Inside The class of 2025 earlier this yr by ESPN, is one of three 15-yr-previouss on the squad Together with 5 17-yr-previouss And 4 16-yr-previouss, and whereas he said the physicality of the tryouts was gooder than what he had been used to, An monumental An factor of the camp involved adapting to that pace of play.

“Cooper has carried out An excellent job,” White said. “He was actually good all by way of practiceing camp. He did All of the little issues, and he additionally performed with The biggest mentality in a setting like that.

“For him to make this team — being 15 yrs previous and being a youthful man — is unimaginable. It’s a credit rating to him and All of the work he’s put in to get So far. It is going to be an absolute honor To practice him.”

Flagg’s presence on the roster stemmed in good half from his capability at his measurement to shine at  almost any place on the courtroom Through the USA Basketball …….



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