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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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Monday / December 18.
  • Oprah Donates $500 K to St. Ben's; Dan Hurley; Norm Roberts; Joe Mazzulla; Skip Prosser

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    Oprah Winfrey donated $500,000 to  St. Benedict’s Prep, so Dan Hurley’s team probably won’t need to be out on the corner fundraising anytime soon.

    The donation was part of a $1.5 million gift to five Newark non-profit outfits.

    Rev. Edwin D. Leahy, the headmaster of St. Benedict’s, told The Star-Ledger that Newark Mayor Cory Booker has been “working for ages to have people interested in Newark and one of the people he has been talking to is Oprah.”

    St. Ben’s serves 540 kids from seventh to 12th grade and features the No. 3-ranked high school team in the nation.

    “It was a surprise. It was a big surprise,” said Leahy.

    Asked what the school will use it on, he responded, “Kids. Just like she asked us to. Lots of kids.”

    St. Ben’s plays St. Patrick of Elizabeth Wednesday night at the RAC in the unofficial New Jersey state championship and then travels to California Saturday night for a matchup with unbeaten Mater Dei. That game will be shown on ESPNU.

    Speaking of Dan Hurley, there was a tremendous story in Sunday’s Daily News about Hurley and his relationship with his legendary father and brother.

    Here are some snippets and top quotes.

    ON HIS DAD AND BROTHER

    “I was the second-best basketball player in my family, and I’m the second-best coach,” Dan Hurley says. “I’ve had to own that and live with that. As great as Bobby and my dad were and are, that’s something that can be tiresome.”

    ON HIS TIME AT SETON HALL

    “I met my wife at Seton Hall, so at least one good thing happened there,” Hurley says.

    ON NOT TAKING A JOB AT PITT OR MARIST

    “People may think that’s bizarre or insane, but we don’t need a lot,” Hurley says. “Maybe I’m going to have a coaching life that’s fulfilling in every way but financial.”

    ON THE SUM OF HIS EXPERIENCES

    “The experiences I’ve had have made me the person I am,” Dan Hurley says. “I wouldn’t trade any of that to be the No. 7 pick in the draft, or to win a national championship, to coach the Knicks. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I feel like I am a good person. I can’t line up my trophies on the table, but I’ll line my heart up with anybody’s.”

    **Rev. Donald J. Harrington, the St. John’s president, said he was “disappointed” with St. John’s record in the Big East, but would wait until after the season to decide with AD Chris Monasch on Norm Roberts’ fate.

    “I’m disappointed like anyone else is,” he told the Daily News for Sunday’s editions. “I’d love to be at the top of the Big East. But these are complex things. It’s a big conference. It’s a tough conference. We’ll keep doing our best.”

    He added: “Norm Roberts is our coach right now and I’d love to see him be our coach for a long, long time because he’s a guy who embodies what we’re about as a university. But at the same time Chris is our AD and it’s much more complex and he has to put all things together. I’ll see what he has to say about that.”

    **Maryland AD Debbie Yow says coach Gary Williams’ job is safe.  Williams, who on Sunday hosted Brooklyn Lincoln star Lance Stephenson, has 3+ years remaining on his contract.

    “I really want to lay to rest any of these crazy rumors hat are floating around related to the job security of coach Williams. He has my personal full support, and he does from the department and the university,” ESPN quoted Yow as saying

    **West Virginia G Joe Mazzulla will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

    **Xavier and Wake Forest agreed to a 10-year deal to play a series known as the Skip Prosser Classic

    (Photos courtesy AP, Daily News)

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    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.