Former UNF basketball star to play professionally in Colombia

Scott Kunath

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Former UNF basketball player Parker Smith signed his first professional basketball contract Thursday with the Bucaros Basketball Club in Bucaramenga, Colombia.

Head Coach Matthew Driscoll said in a text that he was excited to see Smith make his dream a reality.

“When an athlete walks across the stage and gets his degree, then gets an opportunity to be a professional in the sport that he spent countless hours honing his craft daily,” Driscoll said. “You feel extremely proud that dream becomes a reality.”

Smith played for UNF for three seasons from 2010-2013. During his time as an Osprey, Smith set records for the highest free-throw percentage (87.5) and most 3-point field goals (116) in a season by a UNF player, the latter of which is also an Atlantic Sun conference record.

Smith was the first student in school history to be named to the first-team All-Atlantic Sun Conference (2012-2013 season).

He holds several UNF basketball records, but he’s most well known for his record-breaking offensive performance two seasons ago against Mercer. In the game, Smith set individual single-game records for points (46) and 3-point field goals made (11) in his dominant one-man show.

UNF’s head coach Matthew Driscoll said Smith’s work ethic and always showing up at practice, even when he would’ve rather been somewhere else, is what makes him a professional caliber basketball player.

“To his credit, the one thing he always did on the days that he didn’t want to come in and practice, he’d still come in,” Driscoll said, “A professional does that.”

Smith said he is most excited to be able to call himself a professional basketball player.

He credits coach Driscoll with teaching him how to act professionally and said Driscoll told him it’s because you never know who’s watching or who someone might know.

“He taught me to handle everything in a professional manner both on and off the court, I want to go down there and represent UNF in a positive way, and I’m not going to burn any bridges down.”

Parker Smith leaves for Colombia on March 2nd and his first professional basketball season will last until June.