Hello, and thanks for checking out my blog. I'm Raphielle, and the purpose of this blog is to write primarily about the smaller conferences of the Northeast corridor. The Northeast, Metro Atlantic, America East, and Ivy leagues will get the majority of the attention, with a little Atlantic 10 and Big East sprinkled in from time to time.
The idea for this first entry came from two sources: "The Miracle of St. Anthony" by Adrian Wojnarowski, and an article in the September 19th issue of ESPN The Magazine by Bill Simmons. In the article, Simmons brought up some valid points as to why Joe Dumars shouldn't have been enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. His resume isn't better than say, an Adrian Dantley or Sidney Moncrief, and Dumars was never a franchise player. I had no problem with Dumars getting into the Hall, and maybe his work as an executive influenced a vote or two.
The past couple of years, college coaches have headed into the Hall without a serious nod (by the voters) to one of the great high school coaches responsible for the successes of some of the best college programs in America. Bob Hurley, head coach at St. Anthony in Jersey City, has produced hard-nosed basketball players for years, players who have gone on to achieve some great things in college basketball. Names like Jerry Walker, David Rivers, Terry Dehere, and his own son Bobby are sprinkled all over collegiate record books. Yet, until Adrian Wojnarowski's book was released in 2004, the mainstream basketball fan would most likely dismiss this as one man's "luck".
Once you read the book, you realize that it's hard work, caring, and tough love that gets the job done on an annual basis. The record speaks for itself, with Hurley having won 24 state and 2 national titles. But it's about more than the wins and losses. It's about the youngsters that he influences, teaching them about responsibility, discipline, as well as other values that you can't learn through a television set or iPod.
In this era where grassroots basketball is seen as part of the issue as to what's wrong with American basketball, Mr. Hurley has epitomized what's still right with the game. He's used his name to raise money for a school that most likely would have closed its doors a long time ago if not for his efforts. He doesn't capitulate to shoe companies or AAU programs, looking to make the easy dollar. He continues to teach the game the basketball, as well as the game of life, to players and fellow coaches alike. For this we should all be grateful.
With the season rapidly approaching, another list of nominees will be in front of the Hall's voting group. Hopefully, Coach Hurley's name will be one of those on the list.
"To some extent, we're all 24/7 with basketball, but Bob takes it to a level I've never really seen anywhere in the game. I mean, this guy takes his vacations to go coach basketball. Good luck finding any of us doing that in college. I've never seen anyone, on any level, more dedicated than him."
The above quote was found in the book "The Miracle of St. Anthony", written by Adrian Wojnarowski.
Thanks go out to Mr. Wojnarowski for writing the aforementioned book, and Bob Hurley for all his hard work.