Basketball: Cooper Flagg named Naismith Player of the Year

Mar. 8—Cooper Flagg of Nokomis received another prestigious honor Friday, as he was announced as the Naismith High School Boys Player of the Year.

Flagg, in his second season at Montverde Academy in Florida after one year at Nokomis High School, is rated as the top player in the high school class of 2024 according to ESPN and has signed to play at Duke University. The 6-foot-9 forward has led Montverde to the No. 1 ranking in the country and a 30-0 record, averaging 16.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.7 blocks and 1.6 steals per game.

Flagg is the fifth Montverde player in the last 11 years to win the Naismith Award, following Ben Simmons, R.J. Barrett, Cade Cunningham and Dariq Whitehead.

"I would like to thank Jersey Mike's and the Naismith selection committee for recognizing me as the Naismith High School Player of the Year," Flagg said in the Naismith press release. "It is a great honor that wouldn't have been possible without my parents, coaches, and teammates, who motivate me every day to get better."

Flagg also joins Barrett, Whitehead, Shane Battier and Austin Rivers as Duke recruits to win the Naismith Award.

The girls' award went to Sarah Strong of Grace Christian School in Sanford, North Carolina. Strong, a 6-2 forward, averages 21.0 points, 16.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.8 blocks. She has not yet selected a college.

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