Sunday, July 14, 2024

Duke’s Cooper Flagg Was ‘Pretty Surprised’ by Invite to Join Select Team at USA Camp

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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 freshman Cooper Flagg says he was “pretty surprised” to receive an invitation to practice with Team USA ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“I was pretty surprised just because it’s not like a normal thing,” Flagg told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “So I was definitely really honored and just excited that I had this opportunity.”

Flagg continued: “If you look at their team, it’s nobody better. So it’s just being come out here and learn, this is a great experience and I’m really just humbled and I’m really grateful and blessed that I was selected.”

Flagg, the projected top pick of the 2025 NBA Draft, was one of 15 USA Select Team players selected to train with an Olympic roster that features LeBron James and Stephen Curry. He scrimmaged against Team USA for the first time Sunday, Bontemps reported.

“It’s been a great experience, being able to learn, talk, kind of just see what the routine, see what some of these guys do,” Flagg said before Sunday’s scrimmage (h/t NBA Future Starts Now.)

Flagg continued: “I think everybody on that team, growing up as a kid, is somebody that I want to be someday, the position they’re in. So it’s gonna be cool environment, cool experience for me.”

Flagg, who turns 18 in December, then went up against James and Anthony Davis in the scrimmage:

NBA Future Starts Now @nbafuturenow

Cooper Flagg recovers for the slam 💪
Select Team vs. National Team Scrimmage 🍿 pic.twitter.com/IXbb9vDrgK

Flagg is the first college player to play with the senior national team since Doug McDermott and Marcus Smart in 2013.

Members of the Select Team have been promoted to the national team roster in the past.

Saddiq Bey, Darius Garland and Keldon Johnson were lifted to the exhibition roster from the Select Team ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Johnson was then bumped up to the Olympic roster to replace Bradley Beal.

Team USA will hope to have fewer absences during the 2024 Games, but this week’s experience will likely be an important one for Flagg nonetheless.

As USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director Grant Hill put it, the Select Team is built in part to “develop the national team pipeline for the future.”

Flagg, who has previously represented the U.S. at the 2022 FIBA U17 Men’s World Cup and 2024 Nike Hoop Summit, could be putting himself on track for a spot on the roster for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

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