Saturday, July 13, 2024

Duke’s Cooper Flagg Talks Facing Team USA: ‘I’m Confident in My Ability and My Skill’

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LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 7: Cooper Flagg #31 of the USA Basketball Men's Team looks on during USAB Men's Training Camp in Las Vegas on July 7, 2024 in Las Vegas Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Incoming Duke forward and potential 2025 No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Cooper Flagg has excelled for the USA Men’s Basketball Select Team against the USA Olympic Team at the latter squad’s Las Vegas training camp in the run-up to the Summer Games in Paris later this summer.

Understandably, Flagg has that self-confidence to excel, as noted to Ben Golliver of the Washington Post Monday.

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

Duke commit Cooper Flagg on his scrimmage takeover against USA Basketball: “I’m confident in my ability and my skill. At the end of the day, I’m confident in who I am and what I do.” pic.twitter.com/USDkCJJb4v

“Once the ball goes up, I’m just trying to win at all times,” Flagg said after the scrimmage, via Joe Vardon and Sam Amick of The Athletic. “I’m just a competitor, and that’s what it boils down to. It’s a little bit of an adjustment, being on the court with them, but at the same time I’m just playing basketball and trying to learn.”

He’s also received encouragement from NBA superstars and Olympians LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

Duke’s Cooper Flagg on the messages he’s received from USA Basketball players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant during training camp: “They’ve all been pretty welcoming. … They’re just telling me to keep working and stay grounded.” pic.twitter.com/fef9h9IRiV

Flagg also gave his insight on the 2024 squad after competing with them.

Team USA will take the court starting July 28 against Serbia in group play.

Flagg won’t be joining them, but he could certainly be on the 2028 Olympic squad based on his current trajectory and hype.

Golliver posted highlights of Flagg’s time in Vegas, and needless to say, he more than held his own.

Those highlights occurred during a scrimmage that Team USA won 74-73 despite a comeback from the Select squad.

“Cooper Flagg was unbelievable,” said Jim Boylen, assistant coach for both the select team and the Indiana Pacers. “He’s not scared.”

Needless to say, Flagg’s season at Duke will be must-see television and a precursor of a potentially phenomenal pro career. The hype certainly seems legitimate here as he excelled against some of the game’s elite players.

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