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May 25, 2007

Bobcats New Era Begins With Sam Vincent

Vincent Introduced | Press Conference Q&A | Gallery

A new era in Charlotte Bobcats basketball began Friday, May 25, as Sam Vincent was named as the franchise’s second head coach, replacing Bernie Bickerstaff who stepped down at the end of the 2006-07 season. The former seven-year NBA player was an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks last season.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Sam into our organization as our next head coach,” Charlotte Bobcats Majority Owner Bob Johnson said. “He is one of the top, young coaching prospects in the NBA and we feel he is the perfect complement for our team.”

Prior to joining the Mavericks, Vincent enjoyed a successful three-year career in the National Basketball Association Development League, most recently in 2005-06 with the Fort Worth Flyers. He guided that team to a league-best 28-20 record and advanced to the championship game. In his first D-League stint in 2001-02, Vincent was at the helm of the Mobile Revelers during the league’s inaugural campaign. He followed that up with a D-League Championship in 2002-03, leading the fourth-seeded Revelers to their first title.

"We are very happy for Sam,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said. “His background as an NBA player and assistant coach, his experience as a coach in international competition and his success as a head coach in the NBA Development League will serve him well as he becomes the first D-Leaguer to become a head coach in the NBA.”

Vincent brings a wealth of coaching experience to Charlotte on both the national and international stage. He began his coaching career in 1996 as head coach of the Cape Town Kings in South Africa, where he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization, including business administration, sponsorship sales, marketing and communications.

After three seasons with Cape Town, he was then named head coach for both the Men's and Women's South African Senior National Teams. In 1999-2000, Vincent coached in the Greek A-2 Men's Basketball League in Larissa, Greece, and was the head coach of Canoe Jeans in Den Bosch, Netherlands, in the A1 Dutch League.

Vincent then accepted the job to coach the Nigerian women's National Team. In December 2003, he captured the first FIBA Africa Championship for Nigerian women, obtaining a berth for the 2002 Athens Olympics. The Nigerian women finished 11th by beating South Korea for the country's first ever victory at the Olympics.

He also coached the Nigerian men's team during the 2005 FIBA Africa championship and captured the bronze medal. He again coached the Nigerian National Team during the 2006 FIBA World Championships, where his team upset world power Serbia & Montenegro 82-75 on the opening day of group play.

A native of Lansing, Michigan, Vincent attended Michigan State University where he averaged 16.8 points per game for the Spartans and earned several awards, including team MVP honors in 1983-1985 and The Sporting News All-America honors in 1985. He ranks sixth in career scoring, ninth in career assists and third in career steals.

Vincent was selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round (20th overall) in the 1985 NBA Draft and won an NBA title as a reserve in his rookie year. Over his career, Vincent appeared in 396 games and averaged 7.8 points and 3.9 assists with Seattle, Chicago, Orlando and Boston.

“I was fortunate to play for some great coaches and with some legendary players during my NBA career,” said Vincent. “K.C. Jones and Phil Jackson each made an immediate impact on my career, as did Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to use the knowledge they have passed on to me and continue with the momentum that Bernie Bickerstaff and this organization have established over the first three seasons here in Charlotte.”

Vincent and his wife, Lisa, have three children: Fabian (13), Jordique (6) and Jaren (2).