Bolanos, Smith Hoop Hype Balloons at Caribbean Championships

Bolanos, Smith Hoop Hype Balloons at Caribbean Championships
Former Bucs guard Clifford Smith hammed it up with Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford at the Caribbean Championships in Puerto Rico.

Barry University junior guard Derrick Bolanos and erstwhile Buccaneers guard Clifford Smith made a splash at the CentroBasket Central American and Caribbean Championships last week in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.

"We couldn't be prouder of those two guys," Barry head coach Cesar Odio said. "Any time you get a chance to represent your country, it's a great honor."

Bolanos, a 6-foot, 185-pound product of Miami Varela High School, averaged 3.7 points and one rebound while shooting 35.3 percent (6 of 17) from the field and 85.7 percent (7 of 8) from the free throw line in six games, averging 9.5 minutes as Team Panama advanced to the semifinals and went 3-2. He hit 42.9 percent of his two-point field goal attempts and 30 percent from beyond the arc.

Bolanos had 12 points, two steals, and went 3 for 3 from the field, knocking down both triples he attempted, and was 4 for 4 from the line in 11 minutes of Panama's 94-66 win over Cuba. He scored eight points and had two rebounds and an assist in 14 minutes of Panama's 93-60 win over Nicaragua.

Panama lost to Jamaica, 78-54, in the bronze medal game. Dominican Republic beat Puerto Rico, 80-72, in the gold medal game.

Smith, a two-time All-Sunshine State Conference selection in 2003-05 for the Buccaneers, averaged 13.3 points, three rebounds, 1.3 assists and one steal, playing 26 minutes a game as a starter for Costa Rica, which went 0-4.

Smith scored in double figures in three of the four games. He led Costa Rica with 17 points, going 7 of 17 from the field, and had four rebounds and two steals in the opener against Jamaica. Smith had 15 points and five boards against Dominican Republic. He scored nine points against Mexico in the only game he didn't reach double figures.

NBA veterans Al Horford (Dominican Republic) and J.J. Barea (Puerto Rico) were two of the big names who competed in the tournament.

"The experience for him (Bolanos) will be great," Barry assistant coach Ryan Saunders said. "He'll be able to use that experience to help us compete in the league. He was playing against NBA players, other overseas professionals and really good players, which will help raise his level of play."