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.
NBA scouts set to flock to Cooper Flagg-Tre Johnson showdown in Las Vegas
By ADAM ZAGORIA & DYLAN LUTEY
NBA scouts have been cleared to attend high school games this weekend during the NBA In-Season Tournament in Las Vegas, and they will be flocking to Friday’s game featuring Duke commit Cooper Flagg of Montverde (FL) Academy and Texas pledge Tre Johnson of Link Academy (MO).
As reported by ESPN, that game will air on ESPNU at 11 p.m. ET. According to one 2025 mock draft, the 6-foot-9 Flagg is the projected No. 1 pick in 2025 and the 6-6 Johnson is No. 4.
“The more exposure we have, the better we can determine their growth and potential,” one NBA scout told ZAGSBLOG.
ESPN recruiting director Paul Biancardi will broadcast the game between No. 1 Montverde and No. 3 Link in the Scholastic Showcase Games.
Nike recently teamed up with the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference to form a high school super-conference, Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Scholastic.
“It’s two top-3 teams in the country so there’s tons of star power,” Biancardi said by phone of Friday’s game. “That makes it an attractive game. There’s a handful plus of real stars in that game.
“And I think for the NBA, because their league is so young and that first round is so important with picks that are young, picks that have a tremendous future in the game, they need to look at these guys more in their environment against players that are like-minded draft picks.
“So I think it’s great any time the NBA can lay eyes on these kids because there’s nothing that takes the place of live scouting.”
As ESPN reported, other events that NBA scouts will be permitted to go to include the Sunshine Prep Showcase at IMG Academy (Dec. 14-17 in Bradenton, Fla.), the Tarkanian Classic (Dec. 15 -21 in Las Vegas), the City of Palms Classic (Dec. 18-23 in Fort Myers, Fla.), the HoopHall Classic (Jan.11-15, Springfield, Mass.), the Throne National Championship (March 28-31 in New York City), and the High School Boys Basketball Nationals (April 4-6, Brownsburg, Ind.).
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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.