Monteverde's Cooper Flagg #32 is seen against Sunrise Christian during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Monday, January 16, 2023, in Springfield, Mass. Credit: Gregory Payan / AP

Maine basketball phenom Cooper Flagg will be leaving high school a year early.

The rising junior from Newport announced his decision to reclassify into the class of 2024 on Instagram, writing, “Why wait.”

Flagg, previously the No. 2 prospect in ESPN’s class of 2025, has had a breakout sophomore summer. In July, Flagg was named MVP at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp in Florida, and led his Maine United AAU team to a second-place finish at the Nike Peach Jam in South Carolina.

By reclassifying, the 6-foot-8 Flagg is now eligible to start playing at the collegiate or semi-professional level next summer. Now ranked No. 1 overall in the class of 2024 according to, the 16-year-old has previously received scholarship offers from NCAA Division I programs such as Duke, Kansas, UConn, UCLA and UMaine, among others.

Flagg has continued to make waves on social media as of late, posting photos from an unofficial visit to Duke and announcing his decision to reclassify. With college now right around the corner, Flagg still has not committed to any specific school.

Flagg and his twin brother Ace led Nokomis to its first ever Class A state championship title in 2021, before the two joined Montverde Academy’s elite basketball program last year. Flagg was named Gatorade Maine Boys Basketball Player of the Year the same season, the first freshman to ever win the award.

Sam Canfield is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, and the Bangor Daily News' newest sports reporter. He loves to examine the narratives and motivations behind Maine's most exciting athletes...