Who Said Friars Don’t Know How to Play Basketball

Success does not come at an easy price
by Benjamin Greene | Source: Virtue's Clues

The sound of gun shots amidst the downtown neighborhoods of Jersey City is no longer a startle. Gang graffiti covers the brick buildings like the white of a picket fence. Drug dealing is an easy source of income for those who were kicked out of school or simply saw it as a waste of time. But not all the less fortunate kids of Jersey City are destined to this fate. New Jersey has a Good Samaritan who is giving these kids a chance to turn their lives around.  

For almost forty years, sixty-three year old Bobby Hurley has been taking kids away from the temptations of inner city life and teaching then the game he loves - basketball. Recognized nation wide as one of the best high school basketball coaches, Bobby Hurley senior holds a tough love motto as his way of educating his players. He himself says that he is not about turning his players into the next NBA super star, but rather assuring that his players receive a college education. Of the hundreds of players that have played on the Friars basketball team in the past forty years only two have not gone on to receive a college education. In fact more than one hundred of his players have received scholarships to division I schools.

Success does not come at an easy price. Discipline is very much a part of why Bob Hurley has been successful. He is not afraid to tell players when he does not like their attitude or when they are not giving their one hundred percent effort. There is zero tolerance for a lack of commitment and effort. Coach Hurley does not accept mediocrity. Discipline and effort are two key virtues of his “tough love” motto that has sculpted the Friars into one of the best high school basketball programs in the nation and not only on the court, but also in the class room. His recent achievement of becoming one of only 10 high school basketball coaches to win 1000 games has not made him sway from his goal of assuring that his players receive an education.

St Anthony’s School where Bobby Hurley has coached for almost forty years is a small high school of some two hundred and fifty students. A young middle school basketball player does not try to get into St Anthony’s for its gym and weight room; they simply do not exist. Young men with basketball dreams go to St Anthony’s for Bobby Hurley.

The three national championships, along with the three nominations as high school basketball coach of the year and the five players that were drafted in the first round of the NBA draft are what many reporters would call his legacy of success. But for Coach Bobby Hurley true success is seeing his players finish high school and going on to receive a college education. This is what it means that “The Street Stops Here.”


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