STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- With its lush grass, circular driveway and brick buildings, the main campus of Wagner College presented a tidy, idyllic picture on a sun-dappled afternoon earlier this month. The small school (undergraduate enrollment: 2,281) is known for its theater program, and the weather was so nice that you half-expected the kids from Fame to bust through the doors and break out into a dance number on the manicured lawn.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Some 30 hours before he was formally inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (which should've happened a couple of years ago by the way), 63-year-old Bob Hurley Sr. was doing what he was born to do and which he has done with as much success as almost anyone -- preside over chaos. Kids were running this way and that, basketballs were flying off backboards and walls, and Hurley himself lent a note of informality to the proceedings by walking around holding in his arms his sixth and youngest grandchild, Gabriel.
When Joanne Rosario's youngest child, Michael, was 12 years old, she would wake up at 7 a.m. most Saturdays, open the door to his room, only to see an empty bed and begin to worry where her son had gone. "Drug dealers were in the hallways, homeless people were lined against the wall," Joanne says. "I'd worry, but when I looked down from our 12th floor apartment, there he was dribbling a ball on the Lincoln Park court."
He was not put on a pedestal when he enrolled at St. Anthony in Jersey City, N.J. His long, lean frame needed to fill out. His internal fire flickered, but it needed kindling. In signing on to play for Bob Hurley's basketball program four years ago, Dominic Cheek agreed to shave his braids and that no tattoos would appear on his skin. On weekends, the 6-foot-6, 195-pound swingman would have to phone the white-haired disciplinarian from his family's landline phone by 9 p.m. Much would be sacrificed, but the shooting form -- that lock-and-load release -- would make him a star. "The shot was always there," says Joe Whalen, the St. Anthony athletic director who coached Cheek with the Jersey City Boys & Girls Club as a youth.
Bob Hurley's boys continue their run toward perfection this week after setting a national record with their 25th state title. But the St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) Friars (30-0) are not the only team seeking a record without blemish.
Surrounded by younger fans focusing their cell phone cameras on him and trailed by one camcorder late Saturday night at the Sovereign Bank Arena, Lance Stephenson Jr. appeared to be getting along swimmingly in his fishbowl.
For the first time in these rankings, a father, Bob Hurley, has replaced his son, Dan Hurley, as coach of the nation's top team. The elder Hurley, whose St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) lineup boasts six Division I signees, will travel to Springfield, Mass., this weekend as the Friars and nine other teams in the Top 25 participate in the HoopHall Classic.
After setting South Dakota career records for points (3,317) and three-pointers (467) while leading Mitchell Christian to a six-year record of 94-31, senior Jill Young's high school career ended on a sour note on Feb. 22 as the Golden Eagles were upset in the district finals by Alexandria Hanson, 29-24, as Young was held to 15 points.
Strolling through the sports section of his local bookstore two weeks ago, St. Mary's All-America guard Jerryd Bayless was casually eyeing various subjects before he came across the Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty.
There's no reason Rothberg can't accomplish his goals of a house with an affordable mortgage, and money for his child's future, say experts in career rehabilitation, but it will take hard work and patience. Here's what they suggest.