Miami Heat sign Jarvis Varnado and Mickell Gladness

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed forward Jarvis Varnado and free agent center Mickell Gladness.

Varnado was a second-round draft choice (41st overall) by the Heat in the 2010 NBA Draft after concluding his collegiate career at Mississippi State as the NCAA’s all-time leading shot-blocker. He has spent the past two seasons playing overseas in Italy and Israel. Last year he began the season appearing in 12 games with Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem of the Israeli Super League where he averaged 9.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.00 blocks and 23.6 minutes while shooting 58.8 percent from the floor. On Jan. 31, 2012, he signed with Acea Virtus Roma of the Italian Lega A and averaged 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.00 blocks and 23.6 minutes while shooting 53.3 percent from the floor in 14 games.

Gladness, who went undrafted out of Alabama A&M in 2008, made his NBA debut with the Heat on Dec. 25, 2011 and split last season between Miami and Golden State. He appeared in 26 games (seven starts) during the 2011-12 season and averaged 2.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.77 blocks and 9.7 minutes while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor. Gladness appeared in eight games with Miami, averaging 0.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 3.5 minutes before being released on Feb. 7. He returned to the Heat on a pair of 10-day contracts (Feb. 12 and Feb. 28) and then was signed to a 10-day contract by the Golden State Warriors on Mar. 22. Gladness signed for the remainder of the season with the Warriors on Apr. 1. This will mark the third straight season Gladness has participated in training camp for the Heat. He was originally signed by Miami as a free agent on Sept. 27, 2010 and waived on Oct. 11, 2010.  He was re-signed by Miami on Dec. 10, 2011 and made the team last year before his subsequent release on Feb. 7, 2012. He has also seen action with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2009-11) and Dakota Wizards (2011) of the NBA’s Development League and with Matrixx Magix Nijmegen in Holland (2008-09).

Both Varnado and Gladness played for the Heat’s 2012 Summer League team which competed in Las Vegas in July. Varnado appeared in two games (one start) and averaged 2.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 15.0 minutes. Gladness appeared in four games and averaged 5.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.50 blocks and 12.0 minutes while shooting 53.8 percent from the field.

The Heat’s roster now stands at 15.

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