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.
In Wake of St. Anthony’s Closure, Bob Hurley to Launch ‘Hurley Family Foundation’ in Jersey City
It didn’t take Bob Hurley long to figure out his next move.
After the heartbreaking closure earlier this month of St. Anthony’s, the school with which he was synonymous for more than 40 years, Hurley plans to launch the “Hurley Family Foundation” this fall in Jersey City, he told ZAGSBLOG. He estimates the co-educational program will open with between 100-200 kids ages 7-17.
“We will set up a not-for-profit where I would just rent the gym we previously played games in, CERC, and we would rent it for the same hours during the year that St. Anthony’s had rented it and just open it up, start with 7-year-olds and have 7-year-olds in,” he said. “The Boys Club would help me transport kids down there, work with them and work with different age groups.
“[We would] do a preseason for high schools where guys could work out before the high school season and then during the winter have leagues for younger kids. All house-league stuff. We’re not aspiring to have travel teams, we just want to have the house leagues and introduce kids to basketball at an early age. And give them a place where they could play on a year-round basis.”
Hurley, who turns 70 this year, sounded very upbeat about the new project. He was devastated when, on April 5, the school announced it would close its doors following the 2016-17 school year.
“At the end of this school year, we will be closing,” Hurley, who won 28 state championships and 13 Tournament of Champions crowns, said then. “Is it extremely sad? Yeah, it’s brutal. Absolutely brutal.”
A member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, Hurley is a basketball lifer and he wants to continue to give back to his community of Jersey City, where he feels the kids are being under-served in terms of activities that keep them busy.
“I love basketball so it fits,” he said. “We know the [CERC] gym, we have a great relationship with the school that’s in there during the day. We get along great with the administration there. Everything works. The Mayor wants me to look at running something in the second part of the city but I think we need to start off doing one thing and if we do it well, we can consider expanding.”
Hurley met with a former classmate, who’s also an attorney, last Wednesday and is going through the process of obtaining 501(c)(3) status for the non-profit organization.
“We met with the Mayor already and we’ll have a Board in place,” he said. “There’s a real need in the city. There’s no instruction for kids. For a city of a quarter of a million people, we’re really lagging behind where we should be for kids growing up and becoming basketball players.”
He added that there is a need because “a 13- and 15-year old were shot in Jersey City two weeks ago at 3 o’clock in the morning on a school night.”
“The kids are shut-ins or they’re out on the street looking at the wrong stuff,” so we have to help them, he said.
Asked if he might obtain sneaker company financial backing, Hurley said, “We don’t need much money right now, so it looks as if we just run the golf tournament we’ve always run, we’ll have enough money from the golf tournament to run the thing during the year.
“Also from St. Anthony’s raising $1.5 million a year, now I only have to raise 10 percent of that so it should be very easy.”
**For my New York Times story on the recruiting battle ongoing for the St. Anthony’s players, click here.
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.