USA has asserted dominance in the FIBA U17 World Cup dating back to its inception in 2010, having won gold in all five iterations of the event and sporting a perfect 37-0 record. This year, 34 athletes from the high school graduating classes of 2023, 2024 and 2025 were originally invited to the USA Basketball Men’s U17 National Team Training Camp at the Olympic & Paralympic Training Center for a chance to represent the country. Amongst a talented and deep pool of prospects, the final roster was eventually trimmed down to 12 players.
Pro Insight spent the week in Colorado Springs and caught up with Cooper Flagg of Montverde Academy (FL) and Maine United (ME), who is set to make his first international appearance for USA Basketball. At 15 years old, Flagg has high upside and is making his case as the number one player in 2025. He was the first freshman to be named Gatorade Player of the Year in Maine after averaging 20.5 points, 10 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 3.7 steals, and 3.7 blocks per game, leading Nokomis HS (ME) to its first state title. Projected to be the best prospect to ever come out of the Pine Tree State, the five-star forward is a multi-level scoring threat with offensive polish and an advanced skill set.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Flagg talked about modeling his game after Jayson Tatum and KD, his transition to Montverde Academy, representing the state of Maine, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2025 prospect Cooper Flagg, from Newport, Maine:
Pro Insight: How did you get to where you are today? Talk a bit about your background and family.
Cooper Flagg: Yeah, I got two brothers. I got one twin. Just coming from a small town in Maine. Pretty much know everybody from the community. So especially with this opportunity, it’s great just knowing that I'm putting on for all of them and just playing out in the backyard and stuff like that with my two brothers. Just that's where all the work came from.
PI: When did you start playing basketball?
CF: I don't know. As long as I can remember I've been playing ball, so it probably comes from my parents. They both played college basketball in Maine, so I think just the love of the game started from them and just got passed down to me.
PI: Were you always taller than everyone in your grade?
CF: Yeah, I think so. I wasn't as tall as my brothers before, but I've shot up and I'm the tallest one now.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
CF: I played football, soccer, and baseball — I tried lacrosse one time and that didn't work (laughs).
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths?
CF: I mean, I pretty much defensively can guard the one-through-five if I need to. Offensively, I’m a three-level scorer, I can get to the rim, pull-up, shoot the three ball, so I can do anything that the coach needs me to do.
PI: Who do you model your game after or study on film?
CF: I mean like Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, players like that that just pretty much do everything on the court at all times.
PI: Talk about your impressions of USA training camp — what did you think you showcased?
CF: I think the biggest thing is just coming out here and proving that I can battle with some of the older guys, 'cause I'm one of the younger guys. I'm only 15 [years old], so I think it's just coming out and showing that I can battle with all the physicality that everyone else is bringing to the table.
PI: Is there increased pressure that comes with being nationally ranked?
CF: I mean, not really. I kind of just try not to worry about it at all. I use it as motivation, really. Just try and keep getting better and better every day.
PI: How do you respond to pressure and challenges?
CF: I mean, pressure doesn't really faze me too much. I don't really feel it. I actually think I play better when I'm being pressured or there’s something on the line.
PI: Congrats on the move to Montverde Academy, by the way. What are your expectations as you head to this prestigious program?
CF: I think the biggest thing is just to be surrounded by people that are just wanting to be the best versions of themselves every day and surrounded by a coaching staff and trainers that just want to push you as hard as you want to push yourself.
PI: Have you had a chance to talk with Coach Boyle about how he plans to utilize you next season?
CF: I mean, I'm not exactly sure, but I think he just wants me to just play as hard as I can, just rebound the ball, push it up and just kind of play one-through-four or whatever and push the pace.
PI: What’s your recruitment update? Who are you hearing from the most, lately?
CF: It’s cooled down a little bit, but obviously been talking to Duke a good amount — got an offer from there, Michigan, heard from UCLA obviously, so couple schools like that.
PI: Would you consider an alternative pro option in lieu of college?
CF: I'm not really sure right now. I'm trying not to think about it too much, so just focusing on one day at a time and we'll see where that goes.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
CF: Yeah, I mean, I think my parents kind of want me to go to college, but I mean everything is on the table, so we'll see what happens.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
CF: That's a hard one. I don't know. All I really do is hoop and hang out with my friends.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
CF: Shoot. Drake is up there. Uzi. Oh, I don't even know who else, though.
PI: Did you like Drake’s latest album he just dropped, or not?
CF: It wasn’t his best one, but not bad (uninspired expression).
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
PI: What’s something most people have no idea about you?
CF: I don’t know. Something that people don’t know about me… ahh that's a hard one (thinking out loud). I'd say probably just I like to hunt — hunt and fish. I like to do that a lot with my family.
PI: Given your platform, what’s it been like to represent Maine and help grow the game of basketball in that state?
CF: I mean, I just look forward to it. I know with my high school, we had tons of kids coming out and supporting us every day, so just being able to look at them and inspire them, it's just really great. I had everyone support me when I was coming out here [to USA Basketball]. So just a great feeling that everyone has your back.
PI: Where do you see yourself in five years?
CF: Five years from now, hopefully playing college ball somewhere or pro somewhere.
PI: Name three words that best describe you.
CF: Long. Athletic. Hardworking.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
CF: I think just being known as a positive person, someone who is thankful and appreciates everyone around him all the time. So I think just leaving a good impression on people whenever I see them and just making sure that they think that I'm a good person and just bringing my teammates up, too. Just bringing them that positivity. Just making sure everyone has their head up all the time.