Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Cooper & Ace Flagg to play pair of games in Maine with powerhouse Montverde Academy
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Maine natives Cooper and Ace Flagg will play a pair of games in their home state this season with national powerhouse Montverde (FL) Academy.
Montverde will play two games in Maine on Jan. 5 and 6. One game is expected to be against an opponent from the New York/New Jersey area, but the opponents haven’t been finalized. At least one game will air on NBA-TV.
Kelly Flagg, the twins’ mother, told the Portland Press Herald the games will be played in Portland at either the Expo or Cross Insurance Arena.
“We’re playing two games in Maine,” Montverde coach Kevin Boyle told ZAGSBLOG by phone on Friday.
“At Montverde, when possible, we try to get games either junior or senior year where guys can play hopefully in their home area. I think it’s going to be fabulous for Cooper and Ace to be able to play in Maine at home. Obviously, there’s a tremendous amount of buzz about Cooper, not just in Maine but throughout the United States and possibly even the world right now. He’s just getting a lot of recognition saying positive things about him.
“I think it will be really exciting for me to see those guys home again, so I think it will be good for them and it will be good for us. It helps our school brand, too, where you have a lot of schools in the New England area that are looking for boarding schools that don’t happen to be basketball players.
Cooper Flagg, 6-foot-9, recently reclassified and is the No. 1 -ranked player in the Class of 2024. As first reported by ZAGSBLOG, he will visit UConn (Sept. 22-24), Kansas (Oct. 6-8) and Duke (Oct. 20-22) in the coming weeks.
Boyle, who has coached three No. 1 picks, seven top-3 picks, nine lottery picks, 16 first-round picks and 19 current NBA players, said Flagg was “unique” among players he’s coached.
“He’s right up there with anyone [I’ve coached],” Boyle said. “His talent and his versatility makes him very unique. His size, his ability to fill up a stat sheet are incredibly special. He can have 10 points and be very instrumental with a handful of assists and deflections and blocked shots and defending the key player on the other team.
“He can be such an incredibly valuable player in today’s NBA world because of his versatility that is really unique.”
Cooper and his win brother Ace helped Nokomis High School in Maine win the Class A state title as freshmen in 2022 before transferring to Montverde Academy ahead of last season.
“It’s exciting for the boys and it’s exciting for our community,” Kelly Flagg, who has been consulted by Montverde Academy regarding the games, told the Portland Press Herald of the games. “I know that there are a lot of Maine fans that are going to be excited to be able to come and see them play, if they didn’t get a chance to go to Springfield (Massachusetts, in January) last year. They’ll definitely want to come out and see them in Maine.”
She added: “It’ll likely be the last time that Cooper plays that close to home for a really long time. “I’m doubtful of any of the (colleges) that he’s considering that they’re going to come up to Orono and play a game. It’ll be a good opportunity for any Maine fan that wants to get a glimpse of how much he’s grown and developed and gotten better.”
Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterFollow ZAGSBLOGHoops on InstagramAnd Like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.