Cooper Flagg of Newport, Maine, is seen at the training camp for the U17 World Cup national basketball team. Credit: Courtesy of USA Basketball

Newport native Cooper Flagg is officially the best boys’ basketball prospect in the nation, regardless of class.

ESPN released its summer rankings for high school prospects Friday, with Flagg earning the No. 1 spot after “a dominant showing this summer.”

This July was a hot one for Flagg, who was named MVP at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp in Florida, led his Maine United AAU team to a second-place finish at the Nike Peach Jam in South Carolina, and allegedly played a heated one-on-one game with NBA All-star Bradley Beal.

“He’s an elite two-way player with NBA positional size at forward and improved as a shooter and playmaker this summer,” ESPN’s Paul Biancardi said.

In August, the 6-foot-8 Flagg reclassified to the class of 2024, and went on an unofficial visit to Duke. He will begin official visits this fall, with Duke, Kansas, and UConn making his shortlist.

Flagg also participated in the fifth SLAM Summer Classic at Harlem’s famed Rucker Park on Aug. 19, hitting a step-back 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.

Cooper and his twin brother Ace led Nokomis to its first ever Class A state championship in 2021-22, before both transferred to Montverde Academy in Florida prior to their sophomore years.

Cooper Flagg was the first freshman to ever win the Maine Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year 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...