O'Koren, Spanarkel Highlight Hudson Catholic Event | Zagsblog
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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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Sunday / April 14.
  • O’Koren, Spanarkel Highlight Hudson Catholic Event

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    The Hudson Catholic Boys Basketball Program has announced it will host a Tip-off Basketball Beefsteak Dinner on Friday evening, November 19, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. This inaugural event will take place @ the Hudson Catholic Gymnasium, 790 Bergen Ave., Jersey City, NJ.

    Dinner tickets are still available and proceeds from the evening dinner will benefit the Hudson Catholic boys basketball program. All friends and alumni are invited to attend.

    The dinner will have an added excitement, as we will honor two all-time Hudson Catholic greats – Jim Spanarkel (’75) and Michael O’Koren (’76).

    The hope is to make this an annual event, and what better way to start the season than to honor the two most prominent basketball alumni in school history.

    Spanarkel graduated from Hudson Catholic in 1975. He was a two-time First Team All-Hudson County selection in two sports – baseball and basketball. He led the Hawks to the HCIAA basketball championship in 1974, the first and only basketball county title in the school’s history. His senior year, he averaged 16 points and seven assists per game and played on the same team with O’Koren, as well as Mark Corrugan, Tom Clark and Ed Nierstadt. The Hawks won the HCIAA South Hudson baseball championship in 1975, with Spanarkel leading the way as a pitcher and hitter. He was actually offered scholarships in three sports, including football, even though he never played a down of competitive football at Hudson Catholic. He eventually landed at Duke University on a basketball scholarship, leading the Blue Devils to the National Championship game in 1978. He was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks.

    O’Koren graduated from Hudson Catholic in 1976. He also was a two-time All-Hudson County honoree and as a senior, he led Hudson County in scoring, averaging almost 27 points per game. He also led the Hawks to their only state sectional championship, winning the NJSIAA Parochial A North title, before falling to CBA in the state title game. When he graduated in 1976, he ranked as the No. 3 scorer in the history of Hudson County basketball with 1,800-plus points.

    O’Koren trailed only former Seton Hall coach and basketball broadcaster Bill Raftery and former Memorial and South Carolina great Jackie Gilloon. He was one of the most highly recruited players in the country, and chose to take his talents to North Carolina and play for legendary coach Dean Smith. At UNC, O’Koren was a do-everything player, and had few equals in Tar Heel history. He’s still the only Carolina player with at least 1,500 points (1,765), 800 rebounds (815) and 300 assists (348). He also had 183 steals and a career field goal percentage of 57.2. He led the Tar Heels to the National Championship game in 1977. He was selected by the NJ Nets with the 6th overall pick in the NBA Draft.

    For more information on purchasing tickets for the Tip-off Dinner contact Head Coach Nick Mariniello at (201)221-6428 or e-mail [email protected].


    Further Information –

    Nick Mariniello – (201) 221-6428 or e-mail [email protected]

    To contact our honored guests for quotes –

    Jim Spanarkel – (201) 803-6831 or e-mail – [email protected]

    Mike O’Koren – (201) 723-8641 or e-mail – [email protected]

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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.

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