Keivon Flint was a freshman and Randy Flint an eighth-grader when Jay Osborne completed his 30-year coaching career at Nixa two years ago.
Osborne never coached the Flint brothers, but was well aware of them and after his Eagles finale mentioned the duo among the brightest prospects to look out for in the program's future.
Fast forward to this winter and the Flints are beginning to fulfill Osborne’s expectations as junior and sophomore guards. They’ve been key cogs in Nixa’s 13-5 start.
Appropriately, the Flints’ arrival on the varsity scene this season came simultaneously. After all, they’re seemingly inseparable,
“I'd say 95 percent of the time we're together,” Kievon said.
The Flints don’t look alike, but could be mistaken as twins by how close their bond is.
“We get along really well,” Keivon said. “We used to fight a lot. But now we're tight. We tell each other everything and are always goofing around. We're pretty much best friends.”
“We're close," Randy said. "When something may go wrong, he'll look at me and let me know everything is okay. That always helps me."
“You see them in the halls together and they're always smiling,” coach Brock Blansit added.
As Keivon inferred, the Flints are no different than any other brothers by having had their fair share of disagreements over the years.
“Basic things like wanting the TV (remote) or having control of anything like that,” Randy said. “Plus, we’d always go at it in basketball.”
“Typical hitting each other for no reason,” Keivon said.
In addition to being brothers, the Flints are unique among their teammates simply due to their exceptional skill set. With their speed, quickness and hops, they have as much upside as any of the Eagles.
More and more throughout this season, the Flints have showcased their talents at both ends of the court.
They’re not starting games, but often are finishing.
“Their athleticism is off the charts,” Blansit said. “They're so athletic and quick. They’re play hard and can guard, They can make (an opponent’s) life miserable when they're playing defense.”
The Flints also made their varsity debuts together on the football field last fall. They flashed plenty of potential as contributors. Next season, they could be stars.
As part of Nixa’s receiving corps, Keivon caught eight passes for 199 yards. He returned a kickoff 61 yards. As part of the Eagles’ secondary, Randy collected 37 tackles and an interception while Kievon had 24 tackles.
As for which sport is their favorite, it depends when they are asked.
“I really can’t say. It depends on whichever sport I'm in,” Keivon said. “When it's football season, I love football. When I'm in basketball, I love basketball.”
“I'd say it's pretty even,” agreed Randy.
In both basketball and football, the Flints are obviously together, but at times not working together. For instance, in practices they can be on opposite sides of the ball and may even go head-to-head. As close as they are or perhaps because they are so close, the Flints can’t promise their battles won’t precipitate to a war of words or some pushing and shoving.
“We get more and more intense and that might cause a fight again,” Randy said.
“Not yet. We're usually on different people,” Keivon said about him and Randy arguing in practices. “But we might fight, you never know. Five minutes later, we'll be best friends, talking and laughing.”