It takes a lot of patience sometimes to be Eric Flynn’s son.
Eric Flynn is an unabashed presence at Bellarmine Prep boys basketball games. He played the sport at Lincoln High School. He followed one son — Isaiah — through coach Bernie Salazar’s program with the Lions. And now he cheers on his younger son, Malachi.
Good or bad, Malachi Flynn gets a review of his performance right after games, whether it is in person or by cell phone.
The junior point guard is the complete opposite in personality to his father. Less emotional, he tends to process an outcome or effort before speaking.
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Sometimes he just doesn’t get that chance.
“He always tells me what I could have done better, win or lose,” Malachi Flynn said. “Sometimes I already know it, and I don’t want to hear it from somebody else. Sometimes it is just hard to listen to.”
If the Lions want to win back the 4A Narrows League title, or extend their string of postseason appearances past 11 consecutive years, much of the onus is on Flynn’s shoulders.
And this will be a completely different journey. Last season, he had seasoned seniors in which to distribute the basketball. Now, he is learning the habits of virtually a new cast.
“I am pretty patient with them if they do not do the right things,” Flynn said. “They are young. I made mistakes last year — it is natural. But I’ve been a leader on all my AAU teams, so it is a natural thing to do.”
That is not bragging, folks. Smarts and patience are a large part of what makes him as good a point guard as there is in the South Sound.
When asked if he could pick one player from metro Tacoma with whom to start a squad, the first name out of the mouth of an unnamed college coach was Flynn.
“He is obviously very talented. He can really score,” Salazar said. “And he is very intelligent — he is a really smart kid, on and off the court.”
Salazar said Flynn used to be “the little guy” on campus when he arrived on campus. But after an offseason growing spurt, he is a lanky 6-footer.
“Two of his biggest strengths is that he has the courage to take the big shot, which we saw many times last season,” Salazar said. “And if he doesn’t make it, it never takes away from his confidence.”
Yes, that quiet confidence — it simmers beneath the surface.
“I think my game stacks up with anybody around here,” Flynn said. “I like having a lot of good guards in the area. It is a challenge. It makes you compete at a higher level.”