UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A lot of big things have happened since Gabe Vincent graduated UC Santa Barbara in 2018.
Most notably he made the NBA out of the G-League, he played in the Olympic Games representing Nigeria, he helped the Miami Heat advance to this year's NBA Finals and he recently signed a 3-year, 33 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
"A lot of those were things I knew I was capable of and I just needed the opportunity and so I just tried to take advantage of each and every one of them," said the 27-year old Vincent as he talked to the media at UCSB.
Vincent is spending the week in Santa Barbara and has been training and meeting with the current Gauchos.
"It's amazing to have him here," said UCSB head coach Joe Pasternack who spent one season(2017-'18) with Gabe Vincent. "To have someone for our players to look up to, they all want to be him."
Vincent played at UCSB from 2014-2018.
He suffered a torn acl late in his junior season but still made it back to play his senior year, his lone season with Pasternack as head coach.
He further developed his game in the G-League and got a shot in the NBA with the Miami Heat.
He steadily improved and this past season Vincent became a key starting member of a Miami team that won the Eastern Conference before losing to the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals.
Vincent shined in the playoffs starting 22 games and averaging almost 13 points per game and hit close to 38 percent of his three-point shots.
NBA teams took notice and earlier this month Vincent decided to come back out west and play for the Lakers.
"A lot of my journey is exactly what I thought it would be," described Vincent. "I thought I would be in the G-League, I thought I would be undrafted, I thought it would be a grind and from then it was just a question if I could outlast it if I could persevere through it and by the grace of God I was able to so I am grateful."
Vincent is excited to join a talented Lakers team.
"It's hard to talk about basketball without talking about the Lakers such a story franchise. I am humble and honored to be part of the organization and I look forward to doing my best to help us bring home a title."
"The Lakers are getting such an unbelievable young man," a proud Joe Pasternack gushed. "He is the highest character the most unselfish player that I have ever been around."
From UCSB to the Lakers.
It has been quite a journey for Gabe Vincent.