Former UCSB guard Gabe Vincent, who is now drilling with the Miami Heat for the resumption of the NBA season, was named as the NBA G League’s Most Improved Player by Ridiculous Upside this week.
Vincent, the Gauchos’ ninth-leading scorer of all time with 1,441 points, played with the Stockton Kings before he signed a two-way contract with the Heat. He played 11 games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce and six more with the Heat before the season was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m honored and humbled to be recognized in this way,” Vincent said. “Most Improved Player was a goal of mine coming into this season so it’s nice to have accomplished that goal as well as earn the opportunity to further pursue my dreams with the Miami Heat.
“I’m grateful for the accolade but there is a lot more work to be done.”
He averaged a combined 20.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for Stockton and Sioux Falls, making 130 3-pointers.
“Gabe used last season as motivation to prove to himself that he belonged in the NBA,” Stockton head coach Ty Ellis told Ridiculous Upside. “He fully committed to the mental and physical development that is required.
“He studied film, embraced coaching, and worked out with more purpose and focus. I’m extremely proud and thankful to have been a part of his journey.”
Vincent set a school record for 3-point baskets with 243 and the 80 he made in 2015-16 were the third most ever by a Gaucho in a single season. Vincent was the 2014-15 Big West Conference Freshman of the Year and honorable mention all-league in 2015-16.
After missing the second half of his junior year in 2016-17 with a torn ACL, he bounced back as a senior in 2017-18 and was named second team All-Big West after helping the Gauchos tie a school record with 23 wins.
Vincent is also part of the Nigerian team that qualified for next year’s Olympic Games.
SMITH TAKES FIRST IN COSIDA CONTEST
Westmont College’s Sports Information Department received seven publications and media contest awards, the NAIA-SIDA Executive Board announced as part of its 2020 CoSIDA Virtual Convention.
Its official website, athletics.wesmont.edu, was also ranked as the ninth best among NAIA athletics departments.
Sports Information Director Ron Smith took first place in the “Season Preview/Review” section for his Aug. 13 preview of the women’s volleyball team. It’s the sixth time he’s won a category in the NAIA-SIDA publications and media contests.
Sports Information Assistant Tim Heiduk tied for fourth place in the same category for his Oct. 18 men’s basketball preview. Heiduk also received a sixth place in the “Game Recaps” category and teamed with senior Jacob Norling, broadcaster for the Westmont Sports Network, to place third in the “Call of the Year” category.
Norling, who graduated from Westmont last month with a bachelor’s degree in English, received two other top-10 awards in the “Call of the Year” section. He recently received a summer internship to broadcast games for the Santa Barbara Foresters summer collegiate baseball team.
The Foresters, who have won a record seven National Baseball Congress World Series championships, are planning an independent, 30-game home schedule this summer.
Their 10-team conference — the California Collegiate League — canceled its season last week because of the COVID-19 pandemic.