LEESBURG, Fla. – Sam Vincent is back in the huddle.
The former Orlando Magic player and longtime coach is running the show for the men’s basketball program at Beacon College, a school in Leesburg that focuses on students with learning difficulties.
“I’ve always enjoyed coaching the team that is viewed as a little bit more as the underdog,” Vincent said. “I’m not the coach that’s going to yell and scream. That’s not how I motivate.”
Sophomore forward Asher Jones sees the impact his new coach is having.
“It’s really a dream come true,” Jones said. “I think he’s done a really good job with addressing what people should do differently instead of, ‘Hey, you’re doing this wrong.’ Maybe it’s saying, ‘Hey, try this instead.’”
Vincent has seen it all in his career, including a NBA head coaching stint in Charlotte more than a decade ago. But this is different, especially in season one with the Navigators.
“Every player on our team learns differently and has a different background,” Vincent said. “So, I can’t really come in and expect everybody to be ‘here.’”
The wins will come. Vincent and his players, like junior forward Bryce Contreras, know that.
“We all have to really mend together and really understand what we got wrong and what we could really fix,” Contreras said. “I feel like with Coach Vince...I feel like we’ll be able to adapt to that and understand that a lot faster.”
But you don’t need NBA experience to know this opportunity is about so much more. And Vincent understands that.
“Having the chance to work here at Beacon and share the story of why these students are so special...to me, that’s what the mission is all about,” he said.
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