EAST LANSING, Mich. (BVM) — Former Michigan State Spartans star Sam Vincent is a pioneer. From his early days playing as a combo guard to the present day, the Lansing Eastern legend has proven to be a leader. What is he doing these days?
Mr. Basketball to Michigan State
In 1981, he would become the state of Michigan’s first high school “Mr. Basketball” winner. He also added a number of other prestigious awards, including Parade Magazine first-team All-American and consensus all-state honors. He even scored 61 points in a game to set the city record. That was just a preview of what would follow.
From there, the 6-foot-2 Vincent followed his older brother Jay to East Lansing to play for MSU. Sam played four years at Michigan State and made quite a name for himself with the Spartans. He averaged 16.8 points per game during that time. As a senior, he averaged 23 points.
Plus Vincent amassed a bunch of other major accolades, including All-Big Ten from 1983 through 1985 — first team as a senior — and 1985 All-American. In addition, he was the 1985 Big Ten scoring champ and George Alderton MSU Athlete of the Year. What’s more, he led Michigan State to the NCAA Tournament that year.
To the NBA
After college, he moved on to the NBA. The Boston Celtics picked him 20th overall (Round 1) in 1985’s NBA Draft. He was a member of the esteemed 1986 NBA title-winning Boston team.
In October 1987, he was traded by the Celtics to Seattle for a second-round draft pick. Several months later, he was shipped from Seattle to the Chicago Bulls in another deal. In June 1989, Vincent was taken by the Orlando Magic in that year’s expansion draft. He’d become one of the original Orlando Magic players.
His final stop would be Milwaukee, as Orlando sent him to Brew City in August 1992. His NBA career came to a close following the 1992-93 season.
In 2001, Vincent took over as head coach of the NBDL’s (National Basketball Development League) Mobile Revelers. He remained in that role until 2004. In 2005, he left to lead the Ft. Worth Flyers of the NBDL. In 2006, he earned an assistant coaching position with the Dallas Mavericks. He stayed with them for a season.
Then Vincent relocated to Charlotte in 2007 to coach the NBA’s Bobcats. He held that position for just over a year. He returned to the D-League and coached the Anaheim Arsenal from 2008-09.
Lansing Eastern & #Michigan State U's JAMES SAMUEL "Sam" VINCENT ('63)…
— Darryl Matthews (@CampDarryl) May 18, 2015
Beyond that, Vincent got involved as an executive with the NBA retired players association. More specifically he was involved with chapter development from 2013-2015, helping former players find opportunities to coach internationally. In 2017, he founded the Global Coach Academy. It ran until April 2020. From then, Vincent became part of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), namely international relations and development.
In September of this year, he returned to the sidelines. Vincent accepted dual roles leading the men’s and women’s basketball programs at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida.
It’s fair to say, he’s got his hands full these days.