St. Anthony, the long-time high school basketball powerhouse in New Jersey, is officially closing its doors.
The Jersey City high school first opened in 1952 and has sent over 200 players to D-I men’s basketball programs throughout the country. The school has also won 28 state championships, all under legendary head coach Bob Hurley. He’s also won four national championships and has had eight undefeated seasons.
Bob Hurley, who also serves as the school’s president, announced on Wednesday that the school will be closing its doors at the end of the 2016-17 school year due to lack of funding and dwindling enrollment.
"It is with enormous regret that we announce today that in our negotiations with the archdiocese there were too many things that we were unable to do with increasing student enrollment, having some money long-term and satisfying some of our debt to the archdiocese," Hurley told reporters on Wednesday. "So that at the end of this school year, we will be closing."
Hurley took over as the school’s men’s basketball coach in 1972, and has passed up numerous head coaching opportunities at the college level to remain loyal to Jersey City, and the teenagers that came through his program.
If you ask Hurley, it’s not about the wins or losses on the basketball court, but more about his graduation rate and the impact he’s made on countless lives.
In a 2010 documentary, “The Street Stops Here,” which focuses around Hurley’s program, he discussed that he’s only had one player that didn’t go to college that came through his program.
He’s been at the school for over 40 years — think about that.
He gets kids from all over New York City and New Jersey with all different backgrounds, stories, struggles and differences — and he has made it work.
Terrence Roberts, who played his college ball at Syracuse, played for Bob Hurley at St. Anthony. Current forward Taurean Thompson also played for Hurley before finishing his high school career at Brewster Academy.
The school raised over $1.2 million, but fell short of the $1.7 million goal that was needed stay open for the 2017-18 school year.
If you get the time, Adrian Wojnarowski followed Hurley’s program around for a full year and wrote the 2006 bestseller “The Miracle of St. Anthony”. I read it a few months ago and it was incredible. It’s well worth the read if you want to know more of the backstory behind Hurley, the school and the struggle the to keep the doors open, which has been a reoccurring theme for quite sometime.