Cooper Flagg Named Mr. Basketball USA!

Duke-bound small forward from FAB 50 national champ Montverde Academy (Fla.) makes history in being named 2024 Mr. Basketball USA by The spectacular all-around talent originally from Maine is the fifth honoree for the nation's highest individual high school basketball honor from Montverde Academy in the past 10 seasons. Flagg is joined by five other national player of the year candidates on all 10 ballots in the final Mr. Basketball USA Tracker balloting. The first Mr. Basketball USA Tracker was conducted in 2008, the first real time choice came in 1996 and our retroactive picks date back to 1955.

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Elite high school talent plays great, no matter the situation or program. Some elite talents are fortunate to play with other good talent around them, while others must carry lesser teams. In today's environment, a great talent will be found and promoted on social media, so it's rare when a great talent goes unappreciated.

For Cooper Flagg of Montverde Academy (Fla.), his unique talents coincide with his unique situation on the nation's best team. He starred with a group of players who were All-Americans in their own right, the Eagles started off No. 1 in the FAB 50 and were expected to dominate the 2023-24 high school scene. The team didn't skip a beat, finishing 33-0 and their individual talents were recognized by the 10-man Mr. Basketball USA Tracker panel.

It could be easy to overlook individual brilliance on a team as talented as Montverde Academy, or to dismiss the success as simply stock-piling talent, but no less than four MVA players received recognition as national player of the year candidates. On a team with plenty of stars and in a year with plenty of viable candidates, Flagg stood out, topping the voting in the final tracker, and today is honored with the title of 2023-24 Mr. Basketball USA.

"Cooper is not just a great player, he's an infectious leader with a work ethic and an approach that separates him from all players in his class," said Montverde Academy coach Kevin Boyle. "Cooper doesn't play basketball to score points or be popular; this kid plays the game to win and be a champion. There's no one like Cooper Flagg."

Flagg did have an abundance of talent around him and that is reflected in the final voting. Maryland-bound teammate Derik Queen finished sixth in the voting while appearing on eight of 10 ballots. UConn-bound wing Liam McNeeley and point guard Curtis Givens also were among 31 candidates who received recognition for the production-based national player of the year honor selected by Ballislife's 10-man panel of national scouts. Flagg was one of four candidates to appear on all ten ballots, an unusually high number at the end of the season.

Montverde Academy only had three games decided by single-digits, yet defeated 24 teams that were FAB 50 ranked at some point during the season, as individually Flagg met every challenge and performed well on the big stage. For the season, the Duke commit averaged 16.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 3.9 apg, 2.7 bpg and 1.6 spg, while shooting 54.7 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from 3-point range. At Chipotle Nationals, Flagg averaged 20.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg in three victories and blocked six shots in the title game win over No. 3 Paul VI (Va.).

"Flagg is the best 'player/prospect' out of the U.S. high school ranks in many years, perhaps since Anthony Davis," said panel member and U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Famer Frank Burlison. "He has the ability to be a dominant college player in every aspect of the game in what will be his only college season."

Flagg is the fourth Duke-bound Mr. Basketball USA, joining 1985 honoree Danny Ferry, 2018 choice RJ Barrett and Dariq Whitehead for the 2021-22 season. He is the fifth honoree from Montverde Academy in the past 10 seasons, joining Ben Simmons in 2015, Barrett, Cade Cunningham in 2020 and Whitehead. Boyle has now coached six national players of the year, as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the choice in Boyle's final season at St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) in 2010-11.

"Cooper understands the expectations that have been built around him and in his two years at Montverde, his skillset has developed to an advanced level," Boyle said. "Most of all the kid's success stems from his ability to compartmentalize and mentally prepare for the biggest moments, better than anyone."

Not only was Cooper able to separate himself from a crowded pack, what made this year's Mr. Basketball USA race so unique is that Flagg re-classified up during the off-season and last season's honoree, Cameron Boozer of Columbus (Miami, Fla.) was returning for his junior campaign after becoming the first tenth-grader ever to earn Mr. Basketball USA honors.

Flagg was a second five All-American Elite team selection as a tenth-grader, while Boozer earned top honors. Despite Boozer having another terrific campaign, Flagg's combination of talent and team success was the difference. Boozer was one of the four players to appear on all ten ballots, tallying 78 total points, but zero first place votes. He did receive two second-place and six third-place votes after averaging 22.2 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.1 bpg while shooting 62 percent from the field (234-378), 41 percent from the 3-point line (43-105) and 82 percent from the free throw line (155-188) for a team that won its third consecutive FHSAA Class 7A state title and finished No. 2 in the FAB 50.

"The gap between Boozer and Flagg as a 'prospect/player' is much slimmer than that between he and anyone below Boozer on my list, with each of 3-thru-10 almost interchangeable, depending on the time of day," Burlison said. "Almost “underrated” now – as crazy as that sounds – because of the elevation of the national perspective over the past year or so of Flagg and A.J. Dybansta."

Flagg tallied eight first place votes (10 points each), one second and one fourth place vote for his 96 total points. Only one other candidate received a first place vote, as Rutgers-bound point guard Dylan Harper received the other two that Flagg didn't receive after leading Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) to the New Jersey Non-Public A state title and No. 19 FAB 50 ranking with a 29-3 record. Harper closed strong, as he was named co-MVP of the McDonald's All American Game with 22 points and five assists and made the game-winning shot at the Jordan Brand Classic, finishing with a game-high 30 points.

The other prospect to appear in all 10 final ballots was another elite player who re-classed up in the off-season. A.J. Dybansta of Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) is another super junior who could challenge Boozer for the most prestigious production-based honor in high school basketball in 2024-25. As this year clearly proved, each season is its own entity and the process will start all over again with a clean slate for each player once the 2024-25 season commences.

As far as 2023-24 goes, it's impossible to deny Flagg's talent and the impact it had on his team not tasting defeat from start to finish.

Editor's Note: Click on the "+" sign next to each player's number to view how many first, second, third or fourth place votes he got and his overall point total. Previous tracker results are also listed ("Prev.").

RankPrev. NameHigh School1st2nd3rd4thTotal
11Cooper Flagg (10)Montverde Academy (FL)810196
23Dylan Harper (10)Don Bosco Prep (NJ)242186
32Cam Boozer (10)Columbus (FL)026078
45TA.J. Dybansta (10)Prolific Prep (CA)010255
57Ace Bailey (9)McEachern (GA)011150
612Derik Queen (8) Link Academy (MO) 010140
78V.J. Edgecombe (5)Long Island Lutheran (NY)001024
8T4Flory Budunga (3)Kokomo (IN)000015
8T7Tre Johnson (5)Link Academy (MO) 000015
1018TBoogie Fland (3)Archbishop Stepinac (NY)000011
11TNRDonnie Freeman (2)IMG Academy (FL)00008
11TNRDarren Harris (2)Paul VI (VA)00008
13TNRTrent Perry (1)Harvard-Westlake (CA)00017
13T16TMeleek Thomas (1)Lincoln (PA)00017
15T10Koa Peat (2)Perry (AZ)00006
15TNRD.J. Hall (1)Plano East (TX)00006
17NRIsaiah Evans (1)North Mecklenburg (NC)00005
18TNRBrayden Burries (2)Roosevelt (CA)00004
18T9Ian Jackson (3)Our Savior (NY)00004
18TNRBrandon McCoy (1)St. John Bosco (CA)00004
21TNRCurtis Givens (1)Montverde Academy (FL)00003
21T11Derrion Reid (1)Prolific Prep (CA)00003
21TNRTyran Stokes (1)Prolific Prep (CA)00003
21TNRTounde Yessoufou (1)St. Joseph (CA)00003
25TNRJahlil Bethea (1)Archbishop Wood (PA)00002
25TNRK. Annor Boateng (1)Little Rock Central (AR)00002
27TNRKon Knueppel (1)Wisconsin Lutheran (WI)00001
27TNRBrannon Martinsen (1)Mater Dei (CA)00001
27TNRLiam McNeely (1)Montverde Academy (FL)00001
27TNRMercy Miller (1)Notre Dame (CA)00001
27TNRJosiah Mosely (1)Stony Point (TX)00001

2022-24 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker Panel

Paul Biancardi, ESPN National Director of Basketball Recruiting
Frank Burlison, Publisher
Van Coleman, Nothing But Net Magazine
Jordan Divens, National Basketball Editor
Ronnie Flores, National Grassroots Editor
Chris Lawlor, Blue Star Media National Analyst
Horace Neysmith,
Patrick Stanwood, Patrick Stanwood Basketball
Dinos Trigonis, Fullcourt Press Editor & Publisher
Ani Umana,

About Basketball USA Tracker Panel's panel of 10 experts, which includes six McDonald’s All-American selection committee members, casts its vote for the top national player of the year candidates. Each panelist lists his top seven candidates regardless of class. The votes are then tabulated on a 10-point scoring system with a first-place vote equaling 10 points, a second-place vote earning nine points and down to four points for a seventh-place vote. The number in parenthesis refers to the numbers of ballots on which a player appeared and previous rankings refers to position in the previous tracker.

For the all-time list of Mr. Basketball USA honorees, CLICK HERE.

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of He can be reached at [email protected]. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores


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