The Miami Heat have established themselves as contenders in the league, primarily due to the depth and progression of players like Gabe Vincent. Vincent has made strides throughout this 2021-22 season, and has solidified himself as an impact sub and strong rotational player for the Heat. While the Heat play primarily through Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, they depend on their others like Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson to hit critical shots.
With the introduction of Vincent, the Heat went from ranking 19th in 3-point percentage in 2020-21, to ranking third in the league this past season. Vincent played a key role in this development with his 8.7 points per game – more than double what he averaged last season. In the postseason Vincent made an even bigger impact by scoring 15 points in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Prior to his success in the NBA, Vincent had a notable career in the NCAA. He attended UC Santa Barbara as an undergraduate, and was a member of the UCSB Men’s Basketball team from 2015 to 2018.
As a Gaucho, Vincent averaged 12.8 points per game, and in 2016, led UCSB to the Vegas 16 Semifinals. He then went undrafted to the Miami Heat and has improved each season. Vincent has solidified himself as one of the most developed Gauchos in the NBA. With fellow Gaucho JaQuori McLaughlin entering the league this past season, there is hope for an upward trend of UCSB alumni achieving success in their transition to the NBA.
Standing 6 foot, 3 inches tall at shooting guard, Vincent has a very polished play style that specializes in his shooting and defense. Vincent was named the Most Improved Player in the NBA G League for the 2019-20 season. His efforts and determination allowed him to be a standout undrafted player for the Miami Heat.
Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra had high praise for Vincent after he took over the starting spot of an injured Kyle Lowry. Spoelstra stated, “Gabe is a great competitor and he’s been able to shape-shift into different roles, which is really important. That is a talent.” The Miami Heat had a record of 27-23 when Vincent was on the court.
Vincent is paving the way for many collegiate athletes outside the prestigious athletic schools of the NCAA. An individual like Vincent, who went undrafted and managed to scrape his way onto a strong rotational role for a contending NBA team, further proves how there is no one path to success. Vincent demonstrates that for individuals looking to do anything at a professional level, efforts and sheer will exceed any accredited background.