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.
With Rhody Making NCAA Tournament, Dan Hurley Can Raise Awareness of Imperiled St. Anthony’s
Rhode Island is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999 — and that is good news not only for the Rams but potentially for St. Anthony’s High School as well.
With Rams coach Dan Hurley now into his first NCAA Tournament as a head coach, it could help raise awareness about his legendary father and the imperiled Jersey City high school at which he has coached for more than 40 years.
Bob Hurley, one of only three high school coaches in the Naismith Hall of Fame, sat courtside with his wife Chris as Rhode Island beat VCU, 70-63, to win the Atlantic 10’s automatic bid to the Big Dance on Sunday in Pittsburgh.
“I’m so glad I didn’t jinx, I was afraid,” Bob Hurley told his younger son during an embrace captured on CBS after the game. “They played so good. We were afraid to come”
The Rams (24-9) last went to the Big Dance when Lamar Odom was their star and Jimmy Harrick their coach.
As has been widely reported and documented in a six-part SHOWTIME Sports’ documentary, Legacy: Bob Hurley, St. Anthony’s needs approximately $500,000 to avoid closing its doors after this school year. The elder Hurley recently listed April 5 as “D-Day” in terms of raising funds.
“Undoubtedly it will help raise awareness of the school, their situation and the documentary series,” Brian Dailey, the director and executive producer of the SHOWTIME series, told ZAGSBLOG on Sunday during the Rhode Island game. “We couldn’t ask for the stars to align any better.”
With both St. Anthony’s and Arizona State, coached by Bobby Hurley, done for the season, Dan Hurley is now the lone Hurley still coaching in mid-March.
“I’m are very happy for Danny to have March to himself within the Hurley household,” Dailey added. “He’s worked incredibly hard and deserves the spotlight.”
Dan Hurley coached at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark for nine years before making the jump to college at Wagner. After two seasons there, he jumped to Rhode Island — with Bobby as an assistant — in 2012. But through his first four years at the school, the Rams only managed one postseason bid: to the NIT.
This season the Rams were a preseason Top 25 team but were savaged by injuries to point guard Jarvis Garrett and forward Hassan Martin, after losing star shooting guard E.C. Matthews to an ACL injury on opening night of the 2015-16 season.
They got healthy and peaked at the right time, beating St. Bonaventure, Dayton and VCU to capture the A-10 Tournament.
“We’ve been through so much the last two years, with [Matthews] going down last year, first game of the season with the ACL,” Hurley told Allie LaForce of CBS Sports. “Hassan Martin tearing his knee up later in the year…
“We’re going to the Dance, forget all that.”
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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.