Austin Rivers Pushes for High Schooler Cooper Flagg on Team USA Olympic Squad

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Austin Rivers: Duke’s Cooper Flagg Should Get Last USA Roster Spot for 2024 Olympics

Former NBA guard and current ESPN analyst Austin Rivers has proposed that the final roster spot for Team USA men’s basketball at the 2024 Summer Olympics should be given to Cooper Flagg, a Duke-bound forward and the No. 1 prospect in the high school class of 2024.

Rivers emphasized the value of providing Flagg with the experience of competing at the Olympic level, particularly in a draft class lacking significant star power. He pointed to Flagg’s potential to benefit from the mentorship of figures like Grant Hill, a former Duke and NBA star who now oversees the USA Men’s National Team.

The current roster for Team USA boasts notable names such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant, among others. Rivers, himself a former Duke standout, may be advocating for Flagg’s inclusion in part due to his alma mater’s connection to Hill and the team’s leadership.

Cooper Flagg
Cooper Flagg (Credits: News Center Maine)

Adding Flagg to the roster would break precedent, as no high school player has transitioned directly to the Olympics since the inclusion of professional players in 1992, with the exception of Christian Laettner, another former Duke forward.

While the idea of a high school player joining Team USA at the Olympics is unprecedented, Flagg’s exceptional talent suggests it could be a viable option. Despite not being tasked with carrying the team, Flagg could still contribute significantly, given his impressive performance record thus far. However, there are arguments for more established NBA stars to occupy the final roster spot, such as Kawhi Leonard, Donovan Mitchell, and Jalen Brunson.

Ultimately, reports indicate that Leonard is the favored candidate for the 12th roster spot. This decision suggests that Flagg’s Olympic debut may be postponed, but there remains potential for him to represent Team USA in the future, possibly at the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.


By Robert Jackson

An avid football fan (A red). And an Otaku by the definition of the word.

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