Projected 2025 No. 1 pick Cooper Flagg headlines U.S. Men's Select Team


HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02: McDonalds All American East forward Cooper Flagg (32) takes a shot during the 2024 McDonald's All American Boys Game on April 2, 2024 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Cooper Flagg takes a shot during the 2024 McDonald’s All American Game on April 2, 2024, at the Toyota Center in Houston. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Cooper Flagg isn’t representing his country’s flag yet, but he’s on his way.

Cooper Flagg, an incoming freshman at Duke University, will be joining the USA Basketball men’s select team that will practice against the squad that will head to Paris this summer for the Olympics. Flagg will be the only collegiate player on the roster, and he’ll also be the first collegiate player to make the team since Doug McDermott and Marcus Smart in 2013.

Flagg will join a roster full of up-and-coming stars on the select team: Charlotte’s Brandon Miller, Houston’s Jabari Smith Jr. and Amen Thompson, and Boston’s Payton Pritchard, among others. Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley will coach the squad.

“As a former member of the USA select team, I know how important and fun this opportunity is for each of these players,” said Grant Hill, USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director. “There is a tremendous amount of talent on this select squad with the significant job of helping the 2024 USA Men’s National Team as they begin their journey to the Olympics. Each of these athletes will play a role in our preparation as we also develop the national team pipeline for the future.”

Despite being only 17 years old, Flagg is no stranger to what it takes to play for USA Basketball. The projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2025 NBA Draft won gold at the 2022 FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup. He also won USA Basketball’s male athlete of the year in 2022 as a 15-year-old.

History bodes well for a player’s chance of playing for the national team when he plays on the select squad. Six current players for the Olympic team (Kevin Durant, Anthony Edwards, Devin Booker, Tyrese Haliburton, Jrue Holiday and Kawhi Leonard) were on select teams prior to being part of Team USA.

Occasionally, players who play on the select team get promoted to the national team, such as Keldon Johnson of the San Antonio Spurs for the Tokyo Olympics.

Flagg is a five-star prospect out of Montverde Academy in Florida. The forward won Gatorade National Player of the Year and Naismith Player of the Year and was a McDonald’s All-American as a senior in 2023-24, averaging 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 blocks per game. He also led Montverde to a 33-0 record and a national championship title in the Chipotle Nationals Tournament.



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