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The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty Paperback – January 19, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
The Bob Hurley profiled here isn't as well known to the average sports fan as his son, Bobby, the Duke University basketball superstar. But the elder Hurley's profile should rise quickly, thanks to sportswriter Wojnarowski's fine and detailed look at the "miracle" Hurley has achieved as coach for more than 30 years of the men's basketball team at St. Anthony's High School in Jersey City, NJ. Wojnarowski provides an excellent look at the phenomenon of the school itself, which Hurley and two Felician nuns managed to keep open even after it lost funding from the church, educating "the poorest of the poor" (more than 50% of the students' families lived below the poverty line). He delivers a finely etched portrait of Hurley, whose passion and drive enabled him to construct "a national powerhouse program out of an enrollment that struggled to stay at 200" and keep the school's decade-long streak of 100% college acceptance. But Wojnarowski's main focus is on the 2003-2004 season, in which a varsity team that Hurley considered "the most academically, athletically and socially underachieving in St. Anthony basketball history" overcame its "dysfunctional" nature and had an undefeated season. Wojnarowski's sensitive, insightful look at the social backgrounds and emotional development of the varsity players-and Hurley's remarkable understanding of them-will keep readers riveted throughout this book, which is one of the best recent pieces of sports journalism.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In 31 years as head basketball coach at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, Bob Hurley has won 22 state titles. One might expect St. Anthony to be a sprawling urban campus with thousands of students from which to cull elite basketball players. On the contrary, it's a tiny school, constantly on the edge of bankruptcy and held together by a determined band of Felician nuns. Nearly all of Hurley's players have attended college, many on basketball scholarships. New Jersey sportswriter Wojnarowski chronicles St. Anthony's 2003-04 season, which began with a group of players Hurley categorized as undermotivated and unfocused. They weren't for long. The season was a success, and the four seniors all accepted scholarships to Division I basketball programs. This inspiring account of good people making a difference one step at a time stands as a compelling counterpoint to Ian O'Connor's The Jump (p.1129), in which basketball talent is exploited at various levels for the profit of all but the player. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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St. Anthony's is a private Catholic High School in Jersey City, NJ, with 230 students (120 boys). Students come from an area where 16% pass the HS proficiency test and where the local drug-infested, back-sliding culture has a hold on the kids. Despite its size and location, St. Anthony's basketball teams have gone undefeated four times, have won two USA Today national titles, and 24 New Jersey Parochial state championships. The basketball program has developed 200 college players, including 5 who went on to the National Basketball Association.
St. Anthony's is a special and safe place under Srs. Felicia and Alan and legendary Coach, Bob Hurley - the streets stop here. Their focus in athletics and academics has been to help kids get to the finish line. They share a collective value that there is no shortcut to success.
While Sister Felicia and Sister Alan play prominent roles in the success of St. Anthony's, "The Miracle of St. Anthony" is mostly about Bob Hurley and the class of 2004 - the most athletically and socially underachieving team in St. Anthony's history. Yet, under Hurley's coaching leadership, the team went undefeated, winning the NJ State Championship and was named by USA Today as the top high school team of the year.
Hurley struggles with the problems of the inner city and sees the potential in these kids that they do not see in themselves. He has always been a disciple of John Wooden... fundamentals, well-conditioned, team play, and defense...and he has always been a no-nonsense driver.
He creates an expectation of performance and accountability that the kids will not find anywhere else in their lives, and helps them out the door to life with values and a voice to become the best they can. And despite his daunting ways, the kids respect Hurley and when returning after graduation, they always come home to the warm embrace of family. The relationship changes from tough task master to a friend.
"St. Anthony's" covers the entire basketball year from pre-season preparations to the championship game. Wojnarowski provides the ups and downs of the season - injuries, players leaving the team, tough wins, and all the key relationships that makes St. Anthony's the special place it is.
This is a great read for anyone interested in coaching, leadership, and basketball.
I have ever read. This is a must read for any basketball fan whether high school, college or NBA. This is more than a basketball story however.
Adrian Wojnarwoski has captured the true spirit of the lives of everyone. It is almost like you know the players, coaches and Nuns
personally. Coach Bob Hurley and Sister Alan come to life to show what giving of oneself is really like.