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‘I’ve maximized what I could get out of high school’



There was a time when Newport, Maine and the name Cooper Flagg were unknown to most people, even in the basketball world. After the young star began to dominate high school courts, he put his city on the map and took off to Montverde Academy as a 15-year-old. 

In Florida, he quickly evolved into superstar status, and only further impressed fans and experts from the world of basketball. Today, he’s done with his high school career and is ready to jump into college division, before he makes his impending move to the NBA.

“I’ve maximized what I could get out of my high school career,” Flagg said recently when reflecting on his journey so far. “I think I’m the highest level of competitor in the world. I want to win at all costs and I do whatever it takes [to win].”

The 17-year-old, who is known for his competitive nature, revealed recently that moving to Montverde wasn’t easy at all, as he suffered some difficult times when he arrived at the Sunshine State.

“I was kind of scared at first because I haven’t been in a situation like this before,” Flagg said. “I’ve been with my same group of friends since I was little, but it made it easier to have my twin (Ace) to acclimate and meet new people while having a safe place in a dorm that’s private.”

The young star needed some privacy from time to time, especially as he’s become such a national sensation in these past couple of years. The Naismith Prep and National Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year will be competing these next months in the McDonald’s All-American game, the Jordan Brand Classic, the Chipotle National Championships and the Nike Hoops Summit.

College basketball experts believe he’s the most famous high school player in recent history. “He’s the best primary defender I’ve ever seen at his age, and probably the best shot blocker I’ve seen under 7 feet,” said writer Brendan Marks. “I don’t remember the last time a high schooler was this well-known nationally.”

The 17-year-old is now preparing for a busy summer before he hits his next destination at Duke University

Flagg is getting ready to move to his next destination, which happens to be between his hometown of Newport and his latest life in Florida. The rising star has committed to Duke University, famous for preparing upcoming NBA athletes, but he knows things won’t be easy once he’s there.

“I don’t put any of that pressure on myself,” the teenager said. “If I can stay on the path, I have a pretty good chance to accomplish my goals and dreams. I’m just trying to keep my head down and keep working.”

Draft analyst Kyrsten Peek is convinced that Flagg will shine in college, just as he did in high school. “He’s the complete player,” she said. “The first thing that stands out is his defensive versatility, footwork, and how he can guard positions all over the court. He plays tough all the time and is a winner … the more he plays, the more people learn about him.”

“I think we’re going to be talking about him sort of in the Chet [Holmgren] and Wemby (Victor Wembanyama) space,” Peek added. “He’s going to have a very long career in the NBA because he doesn’t need the ball in his hands to impact the game. Sky’s the limit.”


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