Cooper Flagg: The Journey of a Basketball Prodigy

High school senior Cooper Flagg has already become a household name in basketball circles. The 6-8 prodigy from Maine is elite on both ends of the floor and has the physical tools, the skill level and the mental make-up to be a superstar at the NBA level. After reclassifying from the 2025 recruiting class to 2024 he instantly became the top rated recruit in the senior class and will look to lead no.1 ranked powerhouse Montverde to a national championship. He’s also the consensus no.1 overall projected pick in the 2025 NBA Draft.

From Maine to Main Street

To say Cooper Flagg is the best prospect ever to come out of the state of Maine would be like saying that the 1996 Bulls were better with MJ. It’s not even a question. Sharp shooting NBA wing Duncan Robinson is a very, very, very distant second.

Flagg was born into the game, with both of his parents playing high-level ball. His older brother was a player and his twin brother is a D1 recruit as well. But even with basketball in his bloodlines it would have been impossible to predict that this kid from a small town in the topmost corner of the country would become a national superstar. But that’s just what has happened.

After an impressive freshman season at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport Maine, a year in which he won the Maine Gatorade player of the year award, Flagg transferred to Montverde in Florida, joining other elite talents on the perennial title contender.

Before arriving in Florida Flagg joined the USA U17 team in the summer of 2022, as a 15 year old, where he dominated to such a degree that it was hard to imagine that he was two years younger than most of the competition. And that’s when the basketball world started to take notice. During the U17 tournament Flagg was dominant on the defensive end, swatting shots, picking pockets, leading the break and making it all look so easy while leading team USA to the world cup title.

In his first year at Montverde Flagg played a solid role on a very deep team. Flagg continued to dominate on the defensive end, putting up 2.2 blocks and 1.6 steals in under 18 minutes per game while also scoring 9.8ppg on efficient shooting. But don’t let the numbers fool you; his play was elite. He could do whatever the team needed him to do, from guarding up and down the line up, spacing the floor, taking over games when needed and also sometimes taking a back seat to seniors such as Kwame Evans Jr., Sean Stewart, Chris Johnson, Marvel Allen, along with many other talented sophomores and juniors.

This year Montverde is fully loaded again, but this time Cooper Flagg is the unquestioned superstar. Other big time talents including Liam McNeeley, Robert Wright, Caleb Gaskins, Asa Newell and more join him. His twin brother Ace is also a high-level recruit playing for Montverde, who projects as a good D1 player with some NBA potential as well.

A Summer To Remember

Before the summer of 2023 Flagg was already considered one of the premier high school players in the land but after dominating on every court he stepped on this summer he has risen from one of the best in his class to now being widely considered the best high school player, regardless of class, and perhaps the best prospect anywhere in the world not yet in the NBA.

This summer we’ve seen him put up monster offensive numbers with entire defenses geared to stop him. We’ve seen him hit last second shots, showing a clutch gene and a killer instinct, and we’ve seen his usual defensive excellence. It’s been one of the best stretches of basketball I can remember seeing any prospect have. And it’s positioned Flagg as a clear favorite to be the no.1 overall pick in 2025.

College Decision

All signs point to Flagg going to college rather than taking one of the professional routes. After reclassifying to join the 2024 recruiting class Flagg is getting close to making his choice with the top contenders being Duke and UConn. I’d put my money on Duke (he’ll be visiting the Duke campus this weekend). There’s no word yet on when to expect his decision but after canceling a visit to Kansas, eliminating the Jayhawks from contention for his talents it suggests that his decision is being finalized.

The 2025 NBA Draft

While the 2025 NBA Draft is still a year and a half away Cooper Flagg is the clear and unquestioned top prospect projected to be in that draft. From this early vantage point 2025 is looking like a strong year. A few of the other big time prospects expected to be available include Ace Bailey, Dylan Harper, VJ Edgecombe, Tre Johnson and Flory Bidunga. But none of these high level players are in the same tier as Flagg.  And Flagg will only be 18 years old when the 2025 draft rolls around; with his birthday being on December 21, 2006 he is just barely eligible for the 2025 draft, by 10 days.

Over the next year and a half Flagg will surely add more elements to his game but even if he just keeps doing what he’s currently doing he’ll go no.1 overall, easily.

Cooper Flagg’s NBA Comparisons

Flagg projects as an elite NBA player so it’s no stretch to compare him to some all time greats. One comp that I love is Scottie Pippen. Like Pippen, Flagg is a special defensive player who can cover all over the court, while also having major impact on the offensive end. They both are in the 6-8 range with good length. At the height of his career Pippen was one of the best (if not the best) defender in the league and I think Flagg can get near to that level. He’s more advanced on the offensive end (already) than Pippen was coming into the league.

Speaking of defensive prowess, my other favorite comp for Flagg is Andrei Kirilinko. AK47 was a bit bigger and more of an interior player than Flagg projects to be but they both are (or were) steals and blocks machines who can (could) guard 4 positions and wreck havoc on the defensive end. Flagg is a much more talented offensive player than Kirilinko so that comp falls a bit short of doing justice to the special talent of Flagg.

With basketball season just around the corner Cooper Flagg will be back to doing what he does: dominating on the court. And the kid from a small town in Maine will take his next steps towards superstar status and becoming basketball royalty.

2025 NBA Mock Draft