Cooper Flagg signs his National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Duke during a ceremony Wednesday at Montverde Academy in Florida. Photo by Kelly Flagg

Cooper Flagg announced on Oct. 30 he was going to Duke, ending months of speculation about his collegiate basketball plans.

On Wednesday, the nation’s top basketball player in the 2024 recruiting class made it official.

Flagg, a Newport native, signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Blue Devils during a ceremony at Montverde Academy in Florida.

“This really is a closure on the recruiting process,” said Kelly Flagg, Cooper’s mother and a coach for his Maine United club basketball team. “It’s been a lot.”

The NLI is a mutual guarantee between a college and a student regarding athletic-based financial aid.

A Duke University spokesperson said Wednesday the school would not comment on any signing until paperwork from its entire recruiting class was in hand.


Flagg, a 6-foot-9 forward, was one of five Montverde Academy players to sign letters of intent to Division I programs Wednesday.

“They made a really nice event out of it,” said Kelly Flagg. “They had all the athletes in and made it pretty special.”

Cooper Flagg was unavailable for comment.

Kelly added that the signing brought some much-welcome closure to the process.

“I see some sense of resolve and confidence in his decision,” she said of Cooper. “I see a real sense of contentment with him now.”

Flagg led Nokomis Regional High to the 2022 Class A title. He was named Maine’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a freshman that season, averaging 20.5 points, 10 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 3.7 steals, 3.7 blocks on 62 percent shooting.


Since transferring to Montverde, Flagg garnered national buzz for his standout play with Team USA in the FIBA Under-17 World Cup in the summer of 2022. That buzz grew this summer as he led Maine United to a runner-up finish at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina.

Flagg, originally set to graduate in 2025, reclassified into the Class of 2024 in August, making him eligible to play in college a year sooner.

Kelly said Cooper’s decision to reclassify accelerated the recruiting process.

“Most people, most athletes, have their entire junior year to go through the process,” she said. “You can spread it out over a year. Because he reclassified, that really sped up his timeline.”

Flagg will join a Duke program that has won five national titles, and since 2011 has produced three No. 1 picks in the NBA draft. He will play for Jon Scheyer, who replaced legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski last year.

Flagg and Montverde are scheduled to play two games in Portland on Jan. 5 and 6. Montverde will play South Shore High School of Brooklyn, New York, and CATS Academy Boston of Braintree, Massachusetts.

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