Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Florida’s Rosario Makes Puerto Rico Olympic Roster (UPDATED)
Florida guard Mike Rosario managed just 4 points in Puerto Rico’s 80-72 loss to the John Calipari-coached Dominican Republic in the Centrobasket gold medal game Sunday, yet he made the final cut for Puerto Rico’s Olympic qualifying roster.
“It feels great because I know how hard I am working because I want this year coming up to be a special one for me to remember,” Rosario told SNY.tv.
“I’m taking advantage of all opportunities. I have a very special gift that God gave me and that’s the talent to play basketball at the highest level I’m ready. Therefore, I want to thank my coach, Billy Donovan, for giving me the opportunity. This really means a lot to me and my future.”
Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic will both compete in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament July 2-8 in Caracas, Venezuela.
Puerto Rico made cuts Monday night to get down to 12, but they also added NBA players Renaldo Balkman and Carlos Arroyo and a third player who competed in Germany.
“We’re counting on [Rosario],” Puerto Rico assistant Carlos Morales said of the senior guard at Florida who scored 11 points in a semifinal win over Jamaica. “I think that even though we have to still make cuts, he’s going to be on the 12-man roster that will be going to Venezuela for Olympic qualifying.”
Rosario, the former McDonald’s All-American out of St. Anthony, is the only American college player on the Puerto Rico roster.
Karl Towns, a 6-foot-10 sophomore at St. Joe’s Metuchen, plays for Calipari on the Dominican team and is also being recruited to Kentucky.
“I think that my performance was a lot more than what they expected,” Rosario said.
Rosario said the experience of playing with and against NBA guys will prepare him well for his senior year at Florida.
“My next step now is to go back to school after this and do everything that Coach Billy needs to me to do to help the team try and get a national championship,” Rosario said. “That’s the goal.”
FINNEY-SMITH AT KEVIN DURANT CAMP
Another Florida player, transfer Dorian Finney-Smith, is gaining valuable experience with the other college players this week at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Chicago.
“I’m learning new stuff,” Finney-Smith told SNY.tv. “Hopefully, I can take some of this stuff and put it in my workout.”
Finney-Smith said he enjoyed going up against several other college players, including Otto Porter of Georgetown.
As first reported by SNY.tv, the 6-foot-8 Finney-Smith transferred from Virginia Tech to Florida after coach Seth Greenberg was fired.
“Florida was recruiting me my first time around and Coach Billy [Donovan] and me have a good relationship,” he said. “And then they had the new assistant [Rashon Burno] that I had a good relationship with so I think it was the best fit for me. I like their style of play, they get up and down.”
After sitting out a year, Finney-Smith thinks he can help the team.
“I know I’ll be better because ‘ll be working out while sitting out and I know we have a good guard in coming next year [Kasey Hill],” he said. “So I think we’ll be pretty good.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.