Flagg and Pritchard among those selected for USA Basketball select team to help with Olympic prep

Cooper Flagg’s summer will include some time playing against the U.S. Olympic team.

The Duke signee — expected to be one of the top picks in the 2025 NBA draft and the consensus national high school player of the year this past season — was the lone collegian among the 15 players announced Friday as members of the USA Basketball men’s select team that will train alongside the squad the Americans are sending to the Paris Olympics.

Flagg already has extensive USA Basketball experience, most notably as a member of the team that won gold at the 2022 FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup. He was picked as USA Basketball’s male athlete of the year for 2022, the youngest player to ever win that honor.

Also on the select team: Payton Pritchard of the NBA champion Boston Celtics, Miami’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., Detroit’s Jalen Duren, Orlando’s Jalen Suggs, Golden State teammates Trayce Jackson-Davis and Brandin Podziemski, Houston teammates Jabari Smith Jr. and Amen Thompson, Charlotte’s Brandon Miller, New Orleans’ Trey Murphy, Sacramento’s Keegan Murray, Utah’s Micah Potter, Nigel Hayes-Davis of Turkish club Fenerbahce and longtime USA Basketball standout Langston Galloway.

“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, USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director. “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.”

The team will be coached by Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley, with Indiana Pacers assistant Jim Boylen and Purdue coach Matt Painter on his staff. They’ll work in concert with the Olympic team coaching staff — head coach Steve Kerr of Golden State, assistants Erik Spoelstra of Miami and Tyronn Lue of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Gonzaga’s Mark Few.

“At the end of the day, this is an opportunity that you can’t pass up,” Jaquez Jr. said. “Coach Spo is on the staff and being able to compete against all these guys and these players, to be in a gym with all of them, like I said it’s something that you can’t pass up.”

Plans call for the select team to work with the Olympic team head-to-head for the first three days of practice — July 6 through July 8 — in Las Vegas. What typically happens at that point is a handful of select teamers will be invited to remain with the Olympic team and travel with them to Abu Dhabi, where Olympic preparations will continue with more practices and two exhibitions.

“It’s our job to push those guys and make them better and prepare them for the Olympics,” Jaquez Jr. said. “It’s a great opportunity.”


AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games