(KTXL) — The game of basketball has provided an abundance of opportunities for local product Gabe Vincent.
The Modesto native had a nice stint in the G-League with the Stockton Kings before catching on with his current team, the Miami Heat of the NBA.
“I think anyone who has ever played sports, the Olympics is the highest level of that. Whether it’s swimming, track, gymnastics, basketball, just any opportunity you have to be selected from millions of people to represent a country, it has to mean a lot to you,” Vincent said.
Vincent, though, will not be representing the red, white and blue in Tokyo later this month. He will be representing the green and white as part of the Nigerian national team.
“I was with them a couple of years ago in China for the World Cup when we qualified for the Olympics this year, so I mean, it means the world to me. It’s very much a part of my heritage, very much a part of my culture, so to go represent my country, a place I identify with,” Vincent said.
“You know, it’s very diplomatic when you play in those kinds of games for a country against another country. It’s just a wonderful experience,” Vincent added.
The Nigerian national team, which also includes Kings’ center Chimezie Metu, is working out this week and next over in Oakland. Then, they will head to Las Vegas for some exhibition games before leaving for Tokyo the week of July 19.
“I’m pretty busy this summer. It should be a great summer of growth, a great summer of basketball, and I can’t ask for much more, man. I’ll be all over the place,” Vincent said.
Following his return, Vincent gets about a month off, and then, he will be right back in training camp with the Miami Heat.
“A lot of my game has come a long way. I think I’m a little bit more comfortable at that level now, so I’m looking to have a better year than I did this past year,” Vincent said. “You know, it hasn’t been easy, it’s a lot of work you put in and it’s just amazing the opportunities that have come my way. And I’ve just been trying to take advantage of each and every one of them.”
And so far, Vincent has been able to do just that.