Meet Cooper Flagg, the next ‘White Duke villain’ and a potential No. 1 pick

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Cooper Flagg, America’s most coveted teenage basketball player, faced the biggest decision of his decade-long ascent from central Maine to the top of NBA draft boards.

The 17-year-old prodigy proved to be exceptionally ambitious in rising from rural Newport, which is closer to Canada going northwest or northeast, than it is to Boston, which is 200 miles south. After winning a state championship as a freshman, Flagg transferred to Montverde Academy, a basketball powerhouse near Orlando. Even before he led Montverde to a 33-0 record and a national championship this past season, the polished 6-foot-9 forward reclassified so he could graduate in three years and fast track his NBA journey. Now, he needed to pick a college.

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