Newly signed Miami Heat Point guard Nigerian-American Gabe Vincent says his love for basketball made him goal-driven and stopped playing other sports to commit to the game at a young age.
Vincent made his debut with the Heat organization by playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, its G-League affiliate on Saturday night.
Those players under a two-way contract are allowed to spend 45 days with the parent NBA team.
Vincent’s prorated time with Miami for the rest of the season is 26 days.
“First of all, it was my love for the game, which has made me extremely goal-driven,” Vincent said.
“And then there’s my great support group of family and close friends and coaches and teammates.”
“I was in sixth grade when I really committed to it (basketball),” he said.
“That’s when I stopped playing all the other sports. I figured I should see how far this game would take me.”
The 23-year-old is coming back from a thumb injury requiring surgery and a pulled hamstring muscle which restricted him to just 24 games in his rookie season with the G-League’s Stockton Kings.
“It was tough battling through all the injuries, but the staff over in Stockton and Sacramento continued to believe in me,” Vincent said.
“They kept me on, and that gave me confidence during off season. A lot of good has come from it, so I owe them a lot of thanks.”
Vincent was part of the D’Tigers team at the FIBA World Cup in China last year where he averaged 11.4 points per game and helped Nigeria qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
He leads the G-League with 88 three-pointers and is sixth in scoring average at 23.4 points per game.
He is shooting 46.9 per cent overall and 41.2 per cent from the three-point line.