Cooper Flagg headlines U.S. select team for Olympic training camp

Cooper Flagg headlines U.S. select team for Olympic training camp

Duke incoming freshman Cooper Flagg is among the 15 Americans selected to practice against Team USA next week in Las Vegas, which is both an honor for him and a possible harbinger for his future on the national team.

Each summer in which the U.S. men’s basketball team competes internationally, a “select” team, usually composed of young NBA players, is picked to join the American team of stars for training camp. Occasionally, one or two of those players are elevated to the national team, like Keldon Johnson was for the Olympics in 2021.

Flagg, a 6-foot-9 forward and an early favorite to be the No. 1 pick of the 2025 NBA Draft, will be among the players working out against LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the rest of the headliners who are seeking Olympic gold in Paris this summer.

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Flagg, 17, is the first college player to play or practice with the U.S. national team since Doug McDermott and Marcus Smart participated in a minicamp for NBA stars in Las Vegas in 2013. Six members of the current Olympic Team (Durant, Devin Booker, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Jrue Holiday and Kawhi Leonard) in the past served on select teams, and 30 players who served on select teams went on to play for USA Basketball at either a FIBA World Cup or the Olympics, according to a news release unveiling the latest U.S. select team.

Jalen Duren, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Brandon Miller, Trey Murphy, Keegan Murray, Brandin Podziemski, Payton Pritchard, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Jabari Smith Jr., Jalen Suggs and Amen Thompson are the NBA players joining Flagg, according to USA Basketball. Also on the select team are Langston Galloway, a longtime USA Basketball veteran who has served as a practice player for the national team outside of training camp, Nigel Hayes-Davis, who plays overseas, and Micah Potter, who played for the Utah Jazz and in the G League last season.

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“As a former member of the USA Select Team, I know how important and fun this opportunity is for each of these players,” said Grant Hill, the managing director for the men’s national team, in the news release. Hill is a Duke alum. “There is a tremendous amount of talent on this Select squad with the significant job of helping the 2024 USA Men’s National Team as they begin their journey to the Olympics. Each of these athletes will play a role in our preparation as we also develop the national team pipeline for the future.”

Five of these players — Duren, Pritchard, Murphy, Murray and Galloway — were on the select team last season that helped the Americans prepare for the FIBA World Cup. For the second consecutive summer, the select team will be coached by Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley.

Pritchard just won a championship with the Boston Celtics. Podziemski and Jackson-Davis play for national team coach Steve Kerr in Golden State. Jaquez plays for U.S. assistant coach Erik Spoelstra on the Miami Heat. Miller was the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Suggs plays for Mosley on the Magic.

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(Photo: Rob Kinnan / USA Today)

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