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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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Saturday / July 22.
  • Bob Hurley Says St. Anthony’s Will Remain Open Next Year and He Plans to Remain Coaching Past His 70th Birthday

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    MIDDLETOWN, N.J.Despite another financial crisis that threatened to shudder the historic school at the end of this semester, St. Anthony’s will remain open going forward and Bob Hurley plans to continue coaching at the Jersey City school past his 70th birthday.

    “I think we’re a little ahead of where we needed to be at this point,” the 69-year-old Naismith Hall of Fame coach said following his team’s 41st straight win, a 51-48 victory over the Ranney School on Tuesday night at Brookdale Community College. “We’re moving forward for high school registration on the first Saturday of February. We’ve put together a plan for next year which we’re going to give to the Archdiocese shortly. And anyone who registers for school will get a refundable deposit in the event we’re not open because we feel that strongly that it can happen.”

    Back in September, St. Anthony’s said it needed $10-$20 million or the doors would close after the 2016-17 school year. The school held a massive fundraising dinner called “50 Years of Chasing Perfect: A Tribute to Coach Hurley,” and also launched a GoFundMe campaign.

    “We need $1.7 and I think we’re approaching one million [raised] right now,” said Hurley, who was slated to speak at Columbia University Teachers College on Wednesday morning to help raise awareness. “From now until June 30th, we need to be able to come up with that number and we need to be able to prove to the Archdiocese that we have a plan in the future so that the number doesn’t have to be as high.”

    Hurley — who has amassed 13 Tournament of Champions titles, eight unbeaten seasons (including last year) and a career record of 1,171-119 — plans to continue coaching past his 70th birthday in July.

    “Oh, my wife doesn’t want me at home,” Hurley, also the President of St. Anthony’s, said of his wife, Chris, the team’s official scorekeeper.

    “After 50 years of this, am I still nuts?”

    Told by two reporters that he’s mellowed a little, he said. “I’m not as crazy as I was. I lost a step and a half, two steps, but it means the same to me, so cold turkey next year, maybe not so good.”

    The Hurleys spend much of their free time babysitting their grandchildren and also supporting their sons, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley and Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley. The parents sat courtside in November when Rhode Island played two games, including one against Duke, at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic.

    “I say to Chris all the time, ‘What do people do at 4:30 every day?'” Hurley said of a potential retirement.
    “She says to me, ‘Well, you know what I’m doing right now? I’m getting the hell out of here right now. I’d be sitting in my house. Bill O’Reilly can’t write books fast enough to keep me occupied right now.”

    Though this is far from Hurley’s best team, Showtime is making a documentary about St. Anthony’s this season. The cable network filmed Tuesday’s game.

    “They’re going to assemble everything and do a basketball thing at the end of the year,” said Hurley, whose program was previously featured in the documentary, “The Street Stops Here.”

    “We’re going to get the necessary exposure right now at a time that we’re trying to to send a message” of financial need.

    Meantime, Hurley and his team will take a 41-game winning streak into a matchup with arch-rival The Patrick School on Saturday in the Dan Finn Classic in Jersey City.

    “They’re so big and talented,” Hurley said of a team with five Division 1 signees. “They have no weakness. They’re deep, they have size, they have guard play. If you take away one thing, they can exploit you somewhere else. So we’re feisty.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. 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.