DES MOINES, Iowa — Only the elite reach the Iowa high school boys state basketball tournament. “We made it our goal, our mission to make it back here. We are one step closer to winning it all,” said Lennx Brown of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School. Brown and his Lynx team are one of those elite teams complete with talent, coaching and an assistant with 11 years of life experience. “He’s a coach. He’s not just a kid being involved. He’s got advice and plays and defenses,” said Lynx head coach Jason Isaacson.
11-year-old Kinnick Driscoll has been a constant voice on the Lynx bench the whole season. “It is really crazy. I like doing it because I get to meet new people and they are really nice,” said Kinnick.
Coach “K” even imparts youthful wisdom. “I like helping them get motivated because when they are motivated they wanna play,” said Kinnick who isn’t afraid to offer up criticism. Brown said, “Some would say he’s the most critical coach. Whenever he’s on the bench he always makes sure to tell you what you are doing wrong as well as the good.”
The fifth grader is also known for lightening the mood with nicknames in some of the game’s most serious moments. “Grandpa for Jake because he was playing like an old man that game,” Brown said.
Despite Kinnick’s age he can relate to adversity after his mother Dana Driscoll and two siblings lost his father Adam last summer to an unexpected heart condition. “This is great for Kinnick to hear more and learn about his dad’s coaching and know how much of an impact his dad had made,” said Driscoll.
Adam was a former Abraham Lincoln assistant and Kinnick followed him and the team everywhere.
His dad Adam brought him to all the home games and he used to dress up like Abe Lincoln and thought he was a pretty big deal,” Driscoll said with a laugh.
While the road to state was without Adam this year the Lynx team and community wrapped their arms around Kinnick and carried each other to the state tournament. “Say you are having a bad game, Kinnick is always there to lift you up and that’s one of my favorite things about him,” Brown said.
The youngest assistant coach in the state has already shown his community how to find strength in his biggest loss at a young age. “He wouldn’t have cared if we lost by 100 or won by 100 or won state. Just that we went to state,” said Kinnick about his father.
The Lynx eventually lost in the state tournament to Ames High School 54-37. The Lynx finished the season 19-5.