Gabe Nnamdi Vincent (left) and Max Heidegger. | Credit: Courtesy

Two former UCSB basketball players have raised their profiles significantly this summer. Gabe Vincent was the leading scorer in Nigeria’s 90-87 upset of the U.S. men’s team in a pre-Olympic exhibition, and Max Heidegger concluded his season in the Israeli Premier League with a 43-point outburst.

Vincent, adopting the Nigerian name Nnamdi from his father’s native country, sank six of eight three-pointers and scored 21 points against such NBA stars as Damian Lillard last Saturday in Las Vegas. Vincent was undrafted out of UCSB in 2018 and proved himself in the G-League, finally earning minutes with the NBA’s Miami Heat during the past season.

“Gabe made it to the NBA the old-fashioned way,” Gaucho coach Joe Pasternack said. “What a statement he made the other night.”

Nigeria will play Australia in its opening game of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on July 25. One of the assistant coaches of the Aussie Boomers is John Rillie, Pasternack’s top assistant at UCSB.

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Heidegger, a 2020 UCSB graduate, averaged 18.2 points for Israel’s Bnei Herzliya club. He was the league’s top Israeli scorer. After he poured in 43 points against Maccabi Haifa in the season finale, it was announced that EWE Baskets Oldenburg secured Heidegger on loan for the upcoming season in Germany’s highest professional basketball league.

“Max picked up where he left off,” Pasternack said of the sharpshooting guard, who was averaging 16 points a game when an injury ended his senior season with the Gauchos.

UCSB Youth Basketball Camp

Signups for UCSB Basketball summer camp began July 14. The camp will run August 2-6 and is $299 per participant. Campers will receive direct instruction from UCSB men’s basketball players and coaches. It will be the first opportunity that members of the public will get to see upgrades to the Thunderdome, which include chair back seating.


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