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Cunningham-Whelan Sponsor Resolution Honoring St. Anthony High School Basketball

Jersey City High School Team Captures 24th State Championship, Fourth National Title

TRENTON – Senators Sandra Bolden Cunningham and Jim Whelan today sponsored a ceremonial resolution on the floor of the State Senate to honor St. Anthony High School’s basketball team for capturing its 24th state championship and fourth national title under Coach Bob Hurley.

“Coach Hurley has made a difference in the lives of so many young people in Jersey City and the surrounding communities over the years, and his hard work and dedication have certainly paid off,” said Senator Cunningham, D-Hudson. “We’re proud of the reputation that St. Anthony High School has deserved on both the State and national stage for boy’s basketball, and we wish Coach Hurley and his champion Friars continued success in the years ahead.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to call Coach Hurley a friend for many years and have helped the St. Anthony team find practice space whenever they’ve played in tournaments down in Atlantic City,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “Coach Hurley has successfully built one of the most dominant basketball dynasties in New Jersey history, and has had players go on to play in elite college programs and the NBA. This is in no small part due to the values of teamwork and discipline instilled by Coach Hurley at St. Anthony.”

According to the lawmakers, St. Anthony of Jersey City has been a dominant force in high school boy’s basketball for years, mainly due to the leadership of Coach Bob Hurley, who has been at the helm for the last 39 years. In August of last year, Coach Hurley was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame – one of only three high school coaches to have received such an honor – and coached his 1,000th win in February. This season, he led his undefeated Friars to a 24th State championship over St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth on March 9, and captured a fourth national title on March 21.

“Leading a team to an undefeated season is no small task, but when you consider the level that St. Anthony High School’s basketball team is playing at, it’s even more impressive,” said Senator Cunningham. “This team has defeated the best teams in the State and the nation, and captured its fourth national championship in as many decades. Considering that this season falls into a long pattern of excellence from Coach Hurley and the St. Anthony Friars, it’s more than fitting that the State Senate pause to recognize their many achievements.”

Recently, Coach Hurley and the St. Anthony’s basketball program were featured in a segment on 60 Minutes. Coach Hurley and his team have been the subject of a best-selling book, The Miracle of St. Anthony, and a documentary, The Street Stops Here. Coach Hurley has also coached two sons – Bobby and Dan – who’ve gone on to find basketball and coaching success at the college level following their time at St. Anthony.

“Coach Hurley could have gone on to far more lucrative coaching opportunities many times over, but remains committed to the St. Anthony program, and I think that’s laudable,” said Senator Whelan. “I think that speaks a great deal about the character of the man, and his dedication to helping young, promising athletes in need – many of whom come from families who are near or below the federal poverty line, and never imagined they could get a college education. Through this resolution, we want to congratulate St. Anthony on yet-another great season of basketball, thank Coach Hurley for his service to his players over the years, and wish him and the team many more years of success in high school basketball and beyond.”

Coach Hurley and his team were invited to attend today’s Senate session to be recognized for their achievements during the 2010 – 11 season. Following a photo op on the Senate floor, the team was led on a tour of the Statehouse.