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Young named head coach of D-League squad in Utah

By Doug Gorman

dgorman@news-daily.com

Kevin Young's life couldn't be any better.

The one-time college basketball player at Clayton State University is living out his dreams.

Young, a former starter on the Lakers' squad, knew from an early age he wanted to go into coaching once he was through playing the game.

Mission accomplished.

Young, who played at Clayton State from 2002-04, has been involved in the coaching side of basketball practically since stepping off the Morrow campus six years ago.

Last week, Young, 29, was named the new head coach of the Utah Flash, a franchise of the D-Leauge, one of the NBA's developmental squads.

"He has been very aggressive in what he has wanted to do with his career," his head coach at Clayton State Gordon Gibbons said. "That's why he is where he's at at the age of 29."

The Flash is affiliated with both the Atlanta Hawks and the Utah Jazz.

Young admits playing for Gibbons fueled his desire to enter the coaching profession.

"He has been doing it for so long, and has so much knowledge, I was able to learn so much from him," Young said. "Getting to play for coach Gibbons is one of the reasons I came to Clayton State.

Gibbons isn't surprised Young has moved into the coaching ranks.

"There were two things that were important when we recruited him at Clayton State," Gibbons said.

"We knew he wanted to go into coaching, and since he is Mormon, we knew he might want to leave to go on his mission."

He never did leave for the mission trip, but Gibbons remembers a hard worker on an off the court.

"He was like a coach on the floor," Gibbons said.

"He worked in our office, helped us with recruiting and worked at our camps."

Skeptics might think he's too young for this type of job, but Gibbons' former player has already worn many hats during his short time in the profession, quickly building an impressive resume.

In addition to stints as a coach at Utah Valley State and Oxford at Emory, two junior college programs, Young has played overseas and served as both head coach and general manager of the Shamrock Rovers in Dublin, Ireland.

He has already won over those around him.

"We are very excited to have Kevin take charge of this team and lead us through the 2010-11 season," Flash Team President Drew Sellers said in a press release.

"Kevin has proven himself worthy to join the head coaching ranks."

Only time will tell what type of success Young will have as head coach, but it's a good bet he will center his team around playing solid defense.

It's something he learned from his college coach.

"He (Gibbons) has always been known for his great defenses," Young said.

"That's something he always stressed, and something I have learned too."

Young is already hard at work on his new job. Over the weekend, the new head coach was back at Clayton State conducting a tryout camp for his new team, something all D-league squads do in their affilated city.

The ambitious Young is excited about his new job and what the future may hold.

He knows coaching in the D-league could open the door down the road to a job in the NBA.

"There are so many opportunities that come from coaching in the D-League," Young said. "There is a chance to move into scouting roles, coaching or front office jobs in the NBA."

One thing is for sure, the future is bright for the coach who got his start at Clayton State.