The Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent was finally cleared to play after missing over two weeks due to health and safety protocols. However, when the 25-year-old guard takes the court during Wednesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, fans may have difficulty recognizing him.
It’s not that anyone forgot what Vincent looks like, even though the last game he played in was on December 28, 2021, but the undrafted player out of UC Santa Barbara revealed a drastic new hairdo for his return on January 12, 2022.
Vincent’s signature braids are gone, and he debuted what he playfully referred to as “Fro Gabe” on Instagram.
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This isn’t the first time Vincent has rocked his natural hair, but it’s been a minute. The last time he didn’t have his hair styled in braids was in January 2021.
The fan reaction to Vincent’s new look was met with mixed reactions. One person commented on Instagram, “It’s time for some braids Gabe!” while another fan wrote in all caps, “FRO GABE IS BACK.”
Vincent Explained the Real Reason Why His Afro Made an Unexpected Comeback
While one woman commented on Vincent’s Instagram photo, “It’s the fro for me 🙌🔥,” the 6-foot-3 guard explained that going back to an afro was not an active choice.
Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman asked Vincent about his new ‘do, and his answer was simple.
“Gabe Vincent will return with the full ‘fro tonight,” Winderman tweeted. “Why? ‘My braider got COVID.'”
Vincent didn’t say whether or not his barber caught coronavirus from him, but it seems clear that he isn’t looking around for a new hairstylist. Until his braider is healthy, expect Vincent to remain “Fro Gabe.”
Vincent was on a Hot Streak Before Entering Health & Safety Protocols
Before Vincent contracted COVID-19, he was playing some of his best basketball. During his last game on December 28 against the Orlando Magic, Vincent notched 13 points, five rebounds, and eight assists.
Vincent, who’s in his first year under a standard contract with the Heat, has earned the respect from his teammates for his unselfish style of play.
“I love Gabe,” P.J. Tucker said following the Heat’s 98-83 win over the Magic, as reported by Sports Illustrated. “I love the way he plays, aggressive, plays hard, confident. You don’t get a whole lot of guys like that who don’t play a whole lot, but when they get in the game, right away they make their presence felt on defense and be confident.”
Vincent will be looking to pick up right where he left against the Hawks on January 12 at the State Farm Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET