Monteverde Academy ‘s Cooper Flagg is ESPN’s top-rated high school basketball prospect in the nation. The 16-year-old Flagg is a Newport native who led Nokomis High to the Class A state championship in 2022. Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Maine basketball fans will have a chance to see Newport natives Cooper and Ace Flagg in person this winter.

Montverde Academy, the national basketball power for which the Flagg twins play, will play two games in Maine this winter, the Florida prep school confirmed Wednesday.

Michele Story, an assistant in the Montverde basketball program, said the dates and location for the games have yet to be set. But Kelly Flagg, the mother of the twins, said the games will be played Jan. 5 and 6 in Portland at either the Expo or Cross Insurance Arena.

“It’s exciting for the boys and it’s exciting for our community,” said Kelly Flagg, who has been consulted by Montverde Academy regarding the upcoming games here. “I know that there are a lot of Maine fans that are going to be excited to be able to come and see them play, if they didn’t get a chance to go to Springfield (Massachusetts, in January) last year. They’ll definitely want to come out and see them in Maine.”

The last time Cooper and Ace Flagg played high school games in Maine, they led Nokomis Regional High to the Class A title in 2022 while drawing crowds that packed the Augusta Civic Center and Cross Insurance Arena.

Cooper Flagg, who reclassified to the Class of 2024 in August, is ESPN’s top-ranked high school basketball prospect and has received offers from powerhouse college programs throughout the country. He announced in August that he’ll make official visits to Duke, Connecticut and Kansas this fall.


“It’ll likely be the last time that Cooper plays that close to home for a really long time,” Kelly Flagg said. “I’m doubtful of any of the (colleges) that he’s considering that they’re going to come up to Orono and play a game. It’ll be a good opportunity for any Maine fan that wants to get a glimpse of how much he’s grown and developed and gotten better.”

Cooper and Ace Flagg, both 16, were not available for interviews for this story.

Montverde will play other out-of-state prep teams in the two games, but Kelly Flagg said she’s also hoping Maine high school teams can be part of the event by playing earlier games.

“That is a possibility that’s being discussed. We’re hoping to make that work,” she said. “That would be really, really cool and special if we could do that.”

Kelly Flagg said the seating capacity at the Expo or Cross arena makes the most sense for the two games.

“We looked into using high schools, but there aren’t really any high schools that have the seating capacity we’re looking for,” she said. “We want to be able to have as many fans attend as possibly can, and I feel pretty good about selling tickets and filling those places. It’ll be great.”


Kelly Flagg said Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, where former South Portland star J.P. Estrella played before heading to the University of Tennessee, was an early hope for an opponent because of its close proximity, but isn’t able to play because of a commitment to compete at the Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts.

She said Montverde Coach Kevin Boyle had the idea to take his team to the Flaggs’ home state.

“Coach Boyle really wanted to give an opportunity for them to play in front of their home fans,” she said. “He’s really good about that stuff.”

The Flagg twins left for Montverde after the 2021-22 school year, with Cooper going on to be named the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year after leading the USA U17 national team to a championship at the Men’s World Cup in Spain.

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