Cooper Flagg seizes the chance to compete against the Olympic squad of the United States

Basketball: The star of Monday's Olympic basketball practice for the United States was none other than Cooper Flagg, who hasn't even played in a collegiate setting yet.

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Varun Sarwate
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Cooper Flagg (Source: CBS Sports)

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The star of Monday's Olympic basketball practice for the United States was none other than Cooper Flagg, who hasn't even played in a collegiate setting yet. The rookie from Duke, who was a member of the select team invited to practice with the Olympic team and is regarded as the top choice in the upcoming NBA draft, appeared very comfortable facing some of the top players in the league.

The select team is often made up of young NBA players who are brought in to scrimmage the national team in preparation for either the World Cup or the Olympics. Flagg was the first collegiate player asked to join the select team since Doug McDermott and Marcus Smart were invited to a mini-camp in 2013.

However, those scenarios were vastly different from Cooper Flagg's participation at this camp. McDermott had played 110 collegiate games for Creighton and had been named a consensus All-American twice. Smart had just finished his freshman season at Oklahoma State, when he was named Big 12 rookie and player of the year. They were already demonstrated.

Cooper Flagg has huge potential

Cooper Flagg has no college points. He still showed much in this camp. In Monday's scrimmage, which the Olympic team won 74-73, Flagg was in the thick of things down the stretch and appeared at ease. And when it was finished, there were plenty of photos with everyone; the select team's last day in camp was Monday, but some may be invited to stay on to help the Olympic squad.

Six-foot-nine big man Flagg played his last three years of high school basketball at Florida's Montverde Academy. He graduated from Newport, Maine. In addition to winning the McDonald's All-American championship, the Gatorade National Player of the Year, and the Naismith Player of the Year in his senior high school season, he choose Duke over Connecticut. Following his lead in the U17 World Cup, he was also recognised as the 2022 male athlete of the year by USA Basketball.

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